Posts Tagged ‘Katherine Paul’

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Released in September of 2018, Mother of My Children was the debut album from Black Belt Eagle Scout , the recording project of Katherine Paul. Heralded as a favorite new musician of 2018 by the likes of NPR Music, Stereogum , and Paste , the album was also named as a “Best Rock Album of 2018” by Pitchfork , and garnered further end-of-year praise from FADER , Under The Radar and more.

Arriving just a year after that debut record, At the Party With My Brown Friends is a brand new full-length recording from Black Belt Eagle Scout. Where that first record was a snapshot of loss and landscape and of Katherine Paul’s standing as a radical indigenous gay feminist, this new chapter finds its power in love, desire and friendship.

At the Party With My Brown Friends is a profound and understated forward step. The squalling guitar anthems that shaped its predecessor are replaced by delicate vocals and soft keys, sentiments spoken and unspoken, presenting something shadowy and unsettling; a stirring of the waters. The end result presents a captivating about-face that redefines KP’s beautifully singular artistic vision.

Black Belt Eagle ScoutAt the Party from the album “At the Party With My Brown Friends” Out August 30th, 2019!.


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Katherine Paul’s Black Belt Eagle Scout has released a purposeful new track and corresponding video titled “Loss & Relax,” which will be released on a 7-inch vinyl alongside “Half Colored Hair” on April 26th from Saddle Creek records. Highlighted Black Belt Eagle Scout as one of 2018’s best new bands, praising Paul’s “knack for making very specific, personal anecdotes feel universal.”

Paul said of the prideful composition dedicated to her history in a statement: As I was writing the guitar line, I kept seeing the water of the Salish Sea and the local ferries drifting people in and out of place. Ferries are such a beautiful part of my childhood and served as a major form of transportation. Thinking about my home and how canoes have turned into ferries is a sad, but also beautiful thought. Nowadays with Canoe Journeys, canoes are alongside ferries, roaming our waters to lands, sharing customs and culture. That is what I think about now when I listen to the fully recorded version of the song. I see a strong and fierce community of my people continuing to thrive in whatever comes our way. That is how I feel about myself, a survivor and thriver of this land, a water protector, a woman, the future.

The video for “Loss & Relax,” was directed by Angel Two Bulls, it follows Paul on her journey home as she goes through the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and Samish Indian Nation.

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Black Belt Eagle Scout aka Katherine Paul, released one of the most arresting singles of 2018. But “Soft Stud” was a red herring. By which I don’t mean a fluke of quality, rather that it’s just one facet of her deeply rich debut album, “Mother of My Children”. Nevertheless, the grungy defiance of that single was a striking introduction to Paul’s world, one she experiences as an indigenous, queer, feminist woman.

Paul returned to her roots to record her graceful and emotionally frank debut record, both literally and spiritually. She was drawn to Anacortes Unknown Recording Studio in Washington State as she was a fan of albums made there, that and it just happened to be 15 minutes from her parents’ house. “It was just one week, so I was like, ‘I’m just gonna take this as a vacation,'” Paul says. “So I just drove all of my gear up and stayed with my folks, and recorded this album.”

If Paul’s description of her homeward-bound retreat to make her debut record sounds cozy and casual, the outcome is anything but. “Soft Stud” is described by Paul as a queer anthem, one that mirrors the frustration of wanting what you can’t have, and those feelings are played out with steely-eyed intensity. “Having [had] that frustration build up so much at the end of the song I wanted to go into this guitar solo to be like ‘fuck it,’ you know?” she explains of the track’s blistering crescendo.

Although the Native American music of Paul’s childhood remains a pervasive influence, the grungy fuzz tone of the guitars hints at an additional entry point. “I was really into the riot grrrl scene and grunge music. I learned how to play guitar on ‘Doll Parts’ by Hole,” she says. Yet the emotional honesty that runs through the album appears to have its roots in her decision to return home to record it. As she explains, “It’s so beautiful up there, and I feel most comfortable where I’m from. That’s where my land is, that’s where my ancestors are from, so it just felt right to do it there.”

It’s notable that Paul plays all of the instruments on “Mother of My Children”, pointing to her tenacity as well as ownership of her experience and creativity. “It’s so personal. That’s why I do all of it myself,” she explains. “I also feel that I do all of it myself because I can, I have the ability.”

The album was made in the wake of a grueling period in her life, which included the breakdown of a long-term relationship and the death of a friend and mentor. The comfort of her surroundings ostensibly allowed her room to vent all of her grief and frustrations most fully. “One of the ways that I heal is through playing music and playing guitar, through singing, just trying to be creative and getting feelings out,” Paul says.

Happily, the tumultuous period of her life two years ago has abated, and she cheerfully reports, “I’m in a great place in my life and I feel very grateful that people will get to hear the album.”

Black Belt Eagle Scout -the album Mother Of My Children – Out now!

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The story of music in 2018 was actually made up of a bunch of different stories. As subgenres bloomed and bloomed, it seemed a greater number of more diverse identities were spotlighted than ever before. One of those storytellers is Portland-based Katherine Paul, who released her debut album, Mother of My Children, as Black Belt Eagle Scout last August. Paul has a knack for making very specific, personal anecdotes feel universal. She grew up on a tiny Indian reservation in Washington, and her indigenous identity is perhaps what informs her musings on nature and our relationship to it.

Paul says something of the sort herself in a press note: “My music and my identity come from the same foundation of being a Native woman.” On album standout “Indians Never Die,” Paul begs us to look up and pay attention. “Do you ever notice what surrounds you?” she asks. And on lead-off track “Soft Stud,” a marvelously fuzzed-out rock lean-in, Paul goes for the personal, singing “Need you, want you” over and over, perfectly summing up the desperate feelings surrounding new, perhaps forbidden, love. If the onslaught of new subgenres means we get to hear more voices like Paul’s,

Black Belt Eagle Scout“Soft Stud” From the album Mother Of My Children – Out now!

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“Having this identity—radical indigenous queer feminist—keeps me going. My music and my identity come from the same foundation of being a Native woman.” Katherine Paul (aka KP) is Black Belt Eagle Scout, and Mother of My Children is her debut album. Recorded in the middle of winter near her hometown in Northwest Washington, Paul’s connection to the landscape’s eerie beauty are palpable throughout as the album traces the full spectrum of confronting buried feelings and the loss of what life was supposed to look like. On Mother of My Children, the songs weave together to capture both the enduring and fleeting experiences of loss, frustration, and dreaming.

The structures are traditional, but the lyrics don’t adhere to any format other than what feels right in the moment. Mother of My Children is a life chapter gently preserved. The access listeners have to such vulnerability feels special and generous.

Black Belt Eagle Scout – Sam, A Dream From the album Mother Of My Children – Out now!