Black Belt Eagle Scout

At the Party With My Brown Friends

BY Sophie BrzozowskiPublished Sep 4, 2019

"Even over here, I feel your voice coming through," sings Katherine Paul, who records as Black Belt Eagle Scout, on "Going to the Beach With Haley," the stirring third track on At the Party With My Brown Friends, "I feel what I'm like when I'm with you." Inspired by an evening with fellow songwriter Haley Heynderickx, the song is a meditation on the peace that friendship can offer, the simple comfort of feeling understood.
Often lyrically sparse, Paul's songs unfold instead as sonic vistas, creating atmospheres rather than recounting stories. Her sotto, purring vocals beckon listeners into intimate, tender moments as Paul observes her surroundings with gentle, but astute affection. "Real Lovin" finds Paul and her lover in a sunlit bedroom under crinkled, damp sheets, revelling in one another's nearness. "Real lovin', hearts bumpin', palms sweating, dizziness," she sings in a near whisper.
Reminiscent of Sharon Van Etten for its rumbling percussion and cathartic melodies, At the Party is lusher and more delicate than its grungy predecessor, Mother of My Children, but no less powerful. Paul's latest is a warm and appreciative ode to the joys of passing the time with people you love.
(Saddle Creek)

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