Sunday, 21 June 2020

Sault - Monsters

When the blogosphere was fully loaded, active and pretty influential a few years ago, being a ‘Mystery Band’ was a de rigueur model for marketing a new act. Put some classy tracks out and a band name, but keep everything else secret and watch bloggers fall over themselves to discover the arist's identity, generating extra publicity as you went. It certainly helped the likes of Jungle and Oh Wonder; the difference between these artists and some other mystery bands that didn’t fare so well being the quality of the material.

Which brings us neatly to Sault. Having released two albums seemingly from nowhere last year, last Friday Sault released a third. It’s called Untitled (Black Is). Whilst there is no official confirmation of who Sault is, Spotify credits and a number of internet sources show that Cleo Sol and Melissa Young (aka Kid Sister) are involved alongside producer Dean Josiah Cover (aka Inflo) who has worked with Little Simz on Grey Area and Michael Kiwanuka on Kiwanuka as well as his own single No Fear in 2018 under his own name.

Untitled (Black Is) might be 20 tracks long, but unlike say The 1975’s lengthy offering it never feels flabby or that it’s struggling to sustain the quality over the duration. It wouldn’t surprise me if, given the right amount of publicity, we see Untitled (Black Is) cropping up on a lot of people’s end of year lists and winning the Mercury Music Prize. From the off Untitled (Black Is) is a perfectly realised protest album; it undoubtedly provides part of a soundtrack for the social and political climate in 2020 and the Black Lives Matter campaign.

There’s no official single from the record right now and so I’ve had to choose one track to stream from the album for the purposes of this post; an almost impossible task. Ultimately it was a toss-up between two. First there’s Wildfires with its poignant words and beautiful melody: “White lives, spreading lies, you should be ashamed, the bloodshed on your hands, another man, take off your badge, we all know, it was murder.” Then there’s Monsters: “Mr Liar got a secret now, take off your suit you’re just a sorry clown, and why are all my people disappearing now?” Monsters just pipped it, but don’t just listen to this song – immerse yourself in the whole album. One of 2020’s masterpieces.

Sault - Monsters

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