Black Belt Eagle Scout is the moniker of Portland-based songwriter Katherine Paul. Last year, Paul released her debut full-length, Mother of My Children, on local label Good Cheer Records. It's being reissued Sept. 14 on venerable indie imprint Saddle Creek, giving the rest of the country a chance to discover one of Portland's best emerging artists.
Earlier this week, Paul released the second single off Mother of My Children, "Just Lie Down," an angsty, cathartic song about coping with uncertainty.
Paul's last single, "Soft Stud"—a yearning anthem that displays Paul's grunge influences and delicate but bold vocals—got the attention of national outlets like NPR and Pitchfork. But on "Just Lie Down," Paul's frenzied guitar takes on a meaner growl, as she sings over tense drums. On the chorus, Paul delivers a gentle respite to the chaos: "Just lie down/Head on the ground/Sky looks blue/Just like you."
In a press release, Paul wrote that the song was inspired by a period of housing instability caused by a rent hike:
So many things didn’t feel foundational and at times I felt like I was losing it. I remember thinking, ‘You aren’t yourself right now. What is wrong with you? Why are you acting like this? What even is this?’ and that’s where most of the questioning lyrics in the song came from. I like to find some sort of resolution in my songs be it a feeling I get from playing it, a certain part of the song that has lyrics that reflect it, something. My resolution in this song is when I sing the lyrics, ‘Just lie down, head on the ground, sky looks blue, just like you.’ To me, it was a simple poem you could say to yourself that means even though you are sad, even though there seems like there is no hope, look up and see what is above you. The sky is still blue and beautiful. Hopefully you will see that beauty and move forward.”
Along with her new single, Paul announced a long string of tour dates from the end of August through October. Before hitting the road, Black Belt Eagle Scout's next Portland show is at Bunk Bar with Hurry Up on Aug. 24.