Five on it photograph from SAULT’s album artwork for ‘Untitled (Rise)’

Measurements of time are arbitrary. 2020 stretches out then speeds up like elastic, and suddenly we’re closing in on October, somehow, and I can’t tell if it feels soon or late? Still, even if it’s a meaningless marker, the past year has obviously been full of deranged energy – but it has had a positive, in the form of a band called SAULT.

I’ve been trying to piece together what I can about them – they don’t do press which has kept some air of mystery about them – and really the only things I have figured out are:

1) Inflo, the producer who worked with Little Simz on Grey Area, is involved

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2) Cleo Sol, the dreamy rising artist (who, actually, also features on Grey Area) is one of the vocalists

3) They’re so, so good

Okay yeah, I never said the list was extensive. But SAULT put out a new album last week – Untitled (Rise) comes just months after their incredible Untitled (Black Is). The fact that the latest record is equally good is a testament to their mad levels of consistency. There’s such a rich musicality to what they do, a biting wit to their lyrics (‘You Know It Ain’t’ gently pokes at every non-Black person’s optical Black Lives Matter activism), plus percussion that is deliciously intricate.

Listen if you haven’t yet. And, either way, take a breather and check out this week’s Five on it:

Tia Carys – ‘Intro’

A searing rap track from the rising west Londoner that finds her deftly coming to terms with her bisexuality over cinematic strings.

Tame Impala – ‘Borderline’ (Blood Orange remix) 

Two of my favourite worlds colliding. This Dev Hynes take on Kevin Parker’s work is every bit as delicate, refined and dreamlike as you’d expect. A beauty. 

Denise Chaila, Sorcha Richardson, God Knows, MuRli – ‘Out the Gaff’

Straight out of Ireland, this is a lush and euphoric collaboration with flourishes of Afropop including our former interviewee and one to watch, the excellent Denise Chaila. Play it loud and soak up what might be the last of this year’s sun.

Zayn – ‘Better’

The baby boy is back – and now he has a baby girl! Daddy Zayn has entered the group chat and he’s making gentle gilded R&B ballads, and yes I am very here for it. 

Bree Runway – ‘Little Nokia’

Yes, we will religiously cover all Bree releases in Five on it because how could we not? This latest track interrogates being at her man’s beck and call for sex while also shouting out her pop faves. With brash guitars, vocals that go from slick, to breathy, to robotic to melismatic, all on top of propulsive beats. Genres have been found in a ditch.

You can follow gal-dem’s Five on it playlist on Spotify:

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