When SAULT released their debut album Untitled (Black Is) in June, their mission was immediately clear. The obvious, yet then forcefully anonymous, group of seasoned musicians and artists made the declaration behind this album, “We present our first ‘Untitled’ album to mark a moment in time where we as Black People, and of Black Origin are fighting for our lives.
RIP George Floyd and all those who have suffered from police brutality and systemic racism. Change is happening…We are focused.” As time moves unusually during this moment of cultural unrest and uncertainty, SAULT’s music and message have evolved from meeting us at the moment to providing us a beacon ahead. Just a few months later, SAULT has moved to celebrate all things Black, on Untitled (Rise).
With the release of Untitled (Rise) also comes some new revelations about the artists behind the project: voiced by Laurette Josiah, British singer-songwriter and producer Michael Kiwanuka, and his frequent collaborator on production, Inflo. Of course, there are many additional components to SAULT’s music and on this album, their message on racial justice has evolved to an observance of all the things that Black music has created and contributed to. Everything from jazz, drumline, Afrofuturism, disco, funk, hip-hop, spoken word, R&B, and beyond, is uplifted on Untitled (Rise), placing these styles on display in their beautiful form. Exhilarating energy brings us through songs like “I Just Want to Dance,” and “Street Fighter,” while the record winds down with the sultry sounds and lyrics bring us back down to earth of “Uncomfortable.” It’s a most blatant reminder of these sounds’ histories and their venerable honor, while keeping the fire ignited.
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