Katherine Paul, or KP – better known as Black Belt Eagle Scout – has taken her time with the follow up to her (fantastic) 2019 album, At the Party With My Brown Friends. Working away and letting inspiration come naturally has paid off, as she’s finally announced a new album titled The Land, The Water, The Sky, which arrives on February 10 through Saddle Creek.
Needless to say, the Earth itself plays a major role in the music, as her latest track, “My Blood Runs Through This Land”, readily displays, exploring how her chosen ground factors into her mental health, continuing themes set out by previous single (and to-be album closer) “Don’t Give Up”.
On the new song, KP says: “‘My Blood Runs Through This Land’ is about the connection I have with my ancestors. When I run my hands through the rocks at Snee Oosh beach and dip my fingers into our waterways, I am reminded of where I come from. Paying attention to all of the sounds and the feelings I get when I am immersed in trails of cedar trees and canoeing out on the water deeply grounds me and strengthens my bond to my lineage of the Swinomish tribe. I wanted the delicateness of these moments to meet the intense reality of the history of my people. I like to imagine my blood – all of my ancestors – running through our homelands freely and powerfully.”
Driven by a laden riff which is gradually joined by thumping drums, the focus of “My Blood Runs Througfh This Land” is still nonetheless on KP’s centerpiece vocals, creating an emotional bridge to the listener regardless of their own situation. It’s an instantaneous blow.
The album itself charters her journey back to her roots, as she explains, “I created The Land, The Water, The Sky to record and reflect upon my journey back to my homelands and the challenges and the happiness it brought.“
It’s no wonder she felt the need to return to her ancestral grounds, as she found herself trapped far from them as the COVID pandemic hit the world, gradually leaving Portland for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community.
Check out the video for “My Blood Runs Through This Land” below, or find the track on streamers.