Daily Dose: Black Belt Eagle Scout, "Soft Stud"

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Daily Dose: Black Belt Eagle Scout, "Soft Stud"

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Portland’s Katherine “KP” Paul will share her debut album as Black Belt Eagle Scout this fall, releasing Mother of My Children via Saddle Creek on Sept. 14. Paul’s radical indigenous queer feminist identity is inextricable from her music, as evidenced by lead single “Soft Stud,” a sprawling, yet intimate six-minute odyssey on which Paul pairs tender lyrics with transcendent, seeking instrumentation. Despite Paul’s deeply personal—even spiritual—connection to her work, it’s easy to forget that Black Belt Eagle Scout is a one-woman show; “Soft Stud” is that impressive.

The songs that make up Mother of My Children “are about grief and love for people, but also about being a native person in what is the United States today,” Paul explains. “Soft Stud” specifically, which Paul calls her “queer anthem,” focuses on “the hardships of queer desire within an open relationship,” building from the intimacy of only her voice over distorted guitar chords to an urgent, insistent chorus: “Need you, want you / I know you’re taken,” Paul avows, her desire no less powerful despite the obstacles in its way.

Recorded in the dead of winter near Paul’s Northwest Washington hometown and originally released via Portland’s Good Cheer Records last August, Mother of My Children gave the artist room to recover after a painful series of events. “I wrote this album in the fall of 2016 after two pretty big losses in my life,” Paul recalls. “My mentor, Geneviève Castrée, had just died from pancreatic cancer and the relationship I had with the first woman I loved had drastically lessened and changed.” That loss found itself interwoven into Mother of My Children, where it lives alongside dreams, frustration and buried feelings.

Growing up on a small Indian reservation in Washington state, Paul was immersed in her family’s ancestral music from an early age, first learning to sing and dance at powwows before moving on to teach herself the guitar and drums (with a little help from “a handful of bootleg Hole and Nirvana VHS tapes”) as a teenager. From there, she relocated to Portland and dove into the city’s music scene, releasing her self-titled debut EP as Black Belt Eagle Scout in 2014. With Mother of My Children, Paul takes another momentous step forward as an artist.

Listen to “Soft Stud” below, and find the Mother of My Children tracklist and album art further down, along with Paul’s tour dates. You can preorder her album here.

Mother of My Children Tracklist:
01. Soft Stud
02. Indians Never Die
03. Keyboard
04. Mother of My Children
05. Yard
06. I Don’t Have You In My Life
07. Just Lie Down
08. Sam, A Dream

Mother of My Children Album Art:


Black Belt Eagle Scout Tour Dates:

23 – Portland, Ore. @ Mississippi Studios
24 – Seattle, Wash. @ Barboza