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In June, the engimatic Sault released UNTITLED (Black Is), which was one of our favourite albums of the half-year so far, an incredibly timely album that was an affirmation and treatise on black pain, resilience and identity, directly confronting police shootings, oppression and displacement with a warm front of heartful resistance and deeply-drawn black art.
Now, they are back once again with a whole new 15-track album called UNTITLED (Rise), repeating last year’s two album in one year release vibe.
While we don’t know exactly who is behind SAULT, credits on previous albums have included Little Simz and Michael Kiwanuka producer Inflo though many of the voices on the albums are uncredited. Kiwanuka did feature on UNTITLED (Black Is) and Laurette Josiah, who The Guardian says runs a children’s charity in London was also credited and that proceeds from the album “will be going to charitable funds.”
It only matters who is involved, as these albums, while hastily released, don’t lack in vision, craft or scope. Sault’s musical output is among the highlights of a very shitty year, reflecting the mood while offering hope at the same time.
UNTITLED (Rise) is a more upbeat album this time around, a collection of disco-flecked R&B and live band funk. There’s a carnival mood on ‘I Just Want To Dance’ orchestral disco-funk on ‘Street Fighter’, house-boogie on ‘Fearless’, easy listening boogie of ‘Son Shine’, Gil Scott Heron-esque soulful protest music on ‘The Beginning & The End’.
It’s a remarkable followup to a brilliant album mere weeks after its release. UNTITLED (Rise) melds modern soul, disco and funk with escapist abandon that while it tries to divert temporarily from the pertinent and current struggle of black people, it cannot help but permeate the album. ‘Uncomfortable’ lays it bare and direct – “why do you keep shooting us?”