Everything Sault has ever done has come with an aura of mystique, so dropping a new album out of nowhere should surprise nobody. Their last album, Nine, was only available for 90 days and they dropped two albums in both 2019 and 2020, including their crown jewel, Untitled (Black Is). We know that the group is largely the brainchild of British producer Inflo, who came up working with Michael Kiwanuka, Jungle, Cleo Sol, Little Simz, and most recently, producing three songs off of Adele’s 30. Sault’s first five albums have featured vocals from Sol and Monica Young (aka Kid Sister), but Air, the newest addition to the groups quickly growing discography, sounds nothing like the others.
The group purged every post from their Instagram page and then today started fresh by posting the Air album cover and then five subsequent previews of some of the album’s tracks. Everything on Air feels incredible cinematic, almost like it’s earmarked as a soundtrack for a visual component that’s yet to come. The opening track “Reality” establishes chamber orchestra-like instrumentals with a vocal chant as a motif through each of the seven tracks. The title track feels like the score of a movie where springtime is in bloom, as strings unfurl, cymbals crash and an indistinct female vocal comes in midway through the song. At the end of the fifth track, “Time is Precious,” we hear the first distinct lyrics from what pretty clearly sounds like Cleo Sol backed by a choir as she hums the song’s title in ethereal fashion. Album closer “Luos Higher” introduces spaghetti western strings and the whole album comes across like an interlude towards whatever the next step is. Whatever the next move is for Sault, it’ll certainly be a calculated one. For now, listen to Air in full below, with the album artwork in the player and the tracklist at the bottom.
5. “Time Is Precious”
6. “June 55”
7. “Luos Higher”