Pin It
1333056

Who are Sault? The story behind the mysterious UK soul collective

The genre-spanning group have just dropped five new password-protected albums – but their identity is still an enigma

It’s near-impossible to compare Sault to any contemporary act. Their discography ranges from classical to soul, post-punk to R&B, sometimes shifting stylistically over the course of one song. Lyrically, releases from the Mercury-nominated collective have focused on both the joy and pain that comes with the Black experience.

Their amorphous nature doesn’t just apply to their music – it’s also about how they choose to operate. Sault are a collective covered by a blanket of anonymity: they never give interviews and, despite releasing 11 albums in three years, no one knows who they are. This is refreshing in the era of social media, where the curiosity of fans often results in whole subreddits dedicated to finding the true identities of artists who choose to remain unknown. This week, the collective added to their mystique, releasing five new password-protected albums without warning. 

So what do we actually know about them? Down below is a guide to everything we can find out about the enigmatic collective.

THEY’VE JUST RELEASED FIVE NEW DISAPPEARING ALBUMS

Sault have just released five new password-protected albums that will disappear in a matter of days. The albums – which are described on the collective’s website as “an offering to God” – are titled Aiir, 11, Today & Tomorrow, Earth and Untitled (God). You can access the album through their website sault.global and by using the password ‘godislove’. If you want to keep the albums past their expiry date, you’ll have to use these details in order to download them through a link on the website. 

This is not the first time they have made their music inaccessible past a certain date, with their 2021 album Nine only being available on streaming services for 99 days. Unless you managed to rip a copy of the album, or purchased it in a physical form, you may not be able to hear it again.

THEY HAVE ALMOST NO ONLINE PRESENCE

Sault’s online presence is limited, appearing only occasionally to share new music. Since they first came onto the scene in 2019, Sault have preferred to operate on a word-of-mouth basis, as opposed to relying on an extensive marketing campaign. They don’t do interviews, release music videos, or play live. That’s a small part of what makes the band so interesting, they rely wholly on the quality of music they produce and a strong fanbase to gain traction, only appearing online to inform fans of a new release. 

Sault are signed to Forever Living Originals, a label with only them and Cleo Sol on the roster. The fact they are not signed to a major label means that they have the freedom to market their music how they want to, with their minimalistic approach offering a refreshing counterbalance to many other artists releasing music in the TikTok era, who often rely so heavily on social media presence to push their music to the masses.

THE LINE-UP IS A MYSTERY

The line-up of artists working with Sault remains (for the most part) an enigma to listeners. Perhaps one of the reasons they remain such a point of interest in contemporary music is the fact they have made a point of never publicly naming many of their collaborators. A select few artists have been named in the liner notes of their discography, namely producer Inflo, alongside singers Michael Kiwanuka and Laurette Josiah (the latter is reportedly a social worker from south London). Cleo Sol has also been listed as a credited songwriter, unsurprising considering her and Sault are the only artists signed to their labels.  

Without attaching artists to projects, they have no big names to take recognition away from the other artists who have collaborated on the music. In many ways, it is the fairest way to list credits on a collaborative project, and helps to focus the attention of the listener solely on the album’s content.