With her racing new track, “My Blood Runs Through This Land,” Black Belt Eagle Scout, aka Katherine Paul, determinedly and assuredly runs alongside you, announcing her new album. The Land, The Water, The Sky, out Feb. 10, 2023, on Saddle Creek, is an album of homecoming for Paul. In 2020, she returned from Portland to her homelands in the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, finding comfort in coming back to the place that generations of ancestors before her had known as home. This is the storyline connecting the 12 songs on the album, drawing them together as she was drawn together by her community. It is certainly not a straightforward, cushy homecoming—she struggles with the harm and violence inflicted by colonialism, a heaviness that won’t leave. But she also embraces the connection to herself that she finds through engaging with her environment, touching the earth and rocks and knowing they support her every step.
“My Blood Runs Through This Land” contrasts the soft dreamy wideness of “Don’t Give Up,” released a few weeks prior and also featured on this new album. The fuzzy guitars creating the bed of the song make everything find its point of grounding, with the drums launching near the end to drive home the intensity of the experience. It’s impossible not to surrender yourself to the fullness of the song; in the instinctual feel of this piece, Paul shows the depth of her connection to her surroundings.
“‘My Blood Runs Through This Land’ is about the connection I have with my ancestors,” she comments, continuing:
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.
Watch the video for “My Blood Runs Through This Land” below, and find the details of The Land, The Water, The Sky and Black Belt Eagle Scout’s upcoming tour dates further down.
The Land, The Water, The Sky Tracklist:
01. My Blood Runs Through This Land
03. Salmon Stinta
05. On the River
07. Fancy Dance
08. Scicudz (a narrow place)
12. Don’t Give Up
The Land, The Water, The Sky Art:
Black Belt Eagle Scout Tour Dates:
25 – Seattle, WA @ High Dive
10 – Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater
24 – Manchester, UK @ Night & Day
25 – London, UK @ Moth Club
27 – Paris, FR @ Le Pop Up
28 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique – Witloof Bar
1 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso Upstairs
2 – Copenhagen, DK @ Stengade
4 – Rotterdam, NL @ Rotown
5 – Berlin, DE @ Badehaus