Out Of Tune #4: SAULT

A groovy bass riff, some bongos, and tambourine pierce the air. Your body starts to move without you telling it to. Soon, scorching hot vocals on the edge of distortion come in. Before you know it, a stank face has come over you and you can’t help yourself from getting lost in the ever-evolving soundscape. Protest lyrics start to ignite a fire in your soul. This is the music of SAULT.

An Unknown Collaboration

Very little is known about this British-based RnB-slash-disco-slash-EDM outfit. Despite reaching 1.6 million monthly listeners on Spotify in the three years they’ve been releasing music, the group has never played a live show, never released a music video, and never given an interview. Their Instagram account, @saultglobal, follows no one and posts clips of their new releases nearly exclusively. It is known that the helmsman for this project is the music producer Inflo, and that SAULT acts as a sort of artist collective with an ever-changing roster of unnamed musicians contributing to recording. Personally, I think the anonymity of SAULT works really well in tandem with their protest music. Preventing any sort of personality from forming around the group makes the music stand on its own, and makes its messaging more universally applicable. 

Inflo, the producer and helmsman for SAULT


SAULT’s songs often take the form of protest music, focusing on issues plaguing Black living. 

“Foot on Necks” take on police brutality

You don’t feel, what we feel, and it’s evident

That you shoot to kill, ’cause you know, you’ll get away with it

Praise your soul, all night, how does your wife even sleep with this burden, on her mind, knowing you’ll never make it to heaven

Foot on Necks

While “Bitter Streets” addresses bittersweet nostalgia that comes from growing up in the inner city, as well as gang culture.

Your energy

Takes away the best of me

I remember when we were young

You made friends with a gun

You didn’t leave

Fell in love with the streets

September, you were out

Now we’re all the way in Fеbruary

Bitter Streets

And “Living in America” discusses America’s obsession with guns.

Living in America

Every day is an on-going massacre

Another one gets shot down in the streets

But they say it’s the land of the free – no!

Everyone has a gun, counting bullets like their Haribos

So be careful how you roll

Now the playground is the danger zone

Living in America

And their most popular song, with 35 million listens on Spotify, “Wildfires” returns us back to police brutality.

Thief in the night

Tell the truth

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

Murder, murder



“Wildfires” also acts as anthemic resistance music. The song closes with this stanza:

But we will never show fear

Even in my eyes

I will always rise

In wildfires

I ain’t never been scared

Even through my tears

I will always care

In wildfires

SAULT’s music interplays with the Black Lives Matter movement that has grown exponentially over the past 3 years

Sonic Breakdown

Their music skirts a solid genre-fication, but there are trends that are consistent across their sound. A rock-solid drum-and-bass rhythm section grounding the entire mix. Angelic vocals pushing into distortion most often sung by Cleo Sol. Psychedelic-influenced signal processing incorporating delay, distortion, wah-wahs, and reverb spread across the different parts. Expansive string sections. The occasional synth. Immaculately phrased guitar melodies. African-influenced rhythms and vocal choruses. Every so often the group abandons any melody or harmony, and instead has a percussion groove standing on its own, like the drum line in the middle of “Strong”. It is this blend of influences and styles that attracted and have held on to my attention. SAULT’s sonic fingerprint is very unique, and I think it will continue to bring the group great success in the future.

SAULT’s music draws on the sounds of African cultures. Pictured: Soweto Gospel Choir (article soon???)

Closing Thoughts

I am honestly at a loss for words when it comes to summarizing SAULT. All I can say is: take an hour out of your day and go listen to one of their albums. Really LISTEN to it. Try and hear all the different parts. Listen to the words. Try and see how everything coalesces together into one coherent and unique sound. My personal favorite is probably Untitled (Rise), and I think that’s a great place to start adding a little SAULT to your life.

Untitled (Rise)

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