The enigmatic U.K. band SAULT have once again released an unexpected new track via their own Forever Living Originals, this one clocking in at just over 10 minutes. Produced by Inflo, “Angel” features London singer/songwriter Jack Peñate and Jamaican reggae artist Chronixx, according to its credits.
The song moves as though composed of three different songs, producing a total evolution over the course of just the one track. The instrumentation remains spare, with bass and guitar shifting into quiet piano as the track progresses. It often sounds as though vocalist Chronixx is singing into a large, empty hall, performing for an empty audience. “My little brother was an angel to me,” he repeats in the first third, on a track filled with tension about the gun-induced death of a younger brother, as a choir sings, “Run to save your life.” On the next portion, voices guide us toward Zion, producing a gentle, transitory interlude and continuing the storyline. Delicate harmonies make the spare arrangements seem softer, with the piano shifting into soft bass beneath a spoken-word part advising us to “Go gently, and find your way,” and easing the listener into the third part of the track. Here, the singer’s voice is raw and vulnerable, strong in that they are singing even though their voice might break at any moment. Even with simple repetitive lyrics, the story is told so intimately that it feels like it happened to someone you know.
Despite this personal feeling, SAULT are a band who keep an air of mystery. They have never toured in support of their music, nor released a music video, despite releasing music since 2019. Their music has amassed millions of listens, even as they break the mold of the traditional music industry. Spearheaded by producer Inflo, they work with groups of shifting, sometimes unnamed collaborators. They’re doing it differently, and it’s working.
“Angel” is SAULT’s first release since April’s AIR, which Paste praised as “a cinematic choral/classical tour-de-force.”
Check out the new single below.