There’s not much I can say about Sault, the mysterious group who first appeared last year, as they’ve shrouded their identity in secrecy.
The band’s 2019 releases, 5 and 7 were playful and snappy, mixing sharp performances with reverb-laden drums, overdriven bass and jocose vocals à la ESG and The Go! Team. The band’s 2020 follow-up, Untitled (Black Is), is a stark contrast: a powerful response to the year that will (hopefully) go down in history as a global reckoning for racial injustice.
We’re in a world of funk and soul once more, yet the tone this time is undeniably different. Group vocals return, for example, but take the form of chants of revolution and protest. The album is dynamic, weaving easily from moments of high-energy intensity to soulful reflection. And amongst the songs, spoken word interludes talk of the perseverance of black people and celebrate the multi-faceted black identity. It is also simultaneously a ‘for us by us’ statement on what it means to be a black person in the world today. It’s affirming, potent, celebratory and just movingly beautiful.