Black Belt Eagle Scout

The Land, The Water, The Sky (Saddle Creek)

Contact Jessica Linker, Yuri Kwon about Black Belt Eagle Scout

Black Belt Eagle Scout, the project of Swinomish musician Katherine Paul, presents a new single/video, “Spaces,” and announces a spring North American tour leading into the release of The Land, The Water, The Sky, out next Friday, February 10th via Saddle Creek. Rolling Stone hailed it as “fiery, brilliant,” stating “with each song, you can feel the weight of an entire community behind her.”


“Spaces” is a song about healing that surges with electric guitar, violin, Paul’s hushed vocals, and features contributions from her parents. Her father is also in the very special accompanying video, directed by Evan Benally Atwood and Morningstar Angeline, and originally conceptualized by Quinn Christopherson.


“I wrote ‘Spaces’ for an audience as a way to sing melodies of healing and care for them,” says Paul. “Since starting Black Belt Eagle Scout, I have moved through many spaces, playing shows for crowds of people. I can’t always connect one on one with everyone and so this song is an attempt to bring my feelings of appreciation I have for everyone who supports my music to life. My parents lend their voices in the chorus melody, my dad with his strong pow wow voice and my mom with her wholesome tone that sounds so similar to mine you can barely notice the distinction between me and her. I want this song to be an offering for those who need to grasp onto something and feel because through feeling and being together, there is healing.”


Paul continues, “It was incredible to incorporate my family trade of carving within the music video. My dad has been carving Coast Salish style art for over 50 years. I grew up around it and learned how to carve and paint when I was a teenager. This video shows a creation process and the kind of intimacy we give to our art. In the video, we carve an eagle out of yellow cedar. The eagle is representative of strength and guidance.” To learn more about K Paul’s Carvings, click here.


In Paul’s words, “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.” Paul found herself far from her ancestral lands during a time of collective trauma, when the world was wounded and in need of healing. In 2020 she made the journey from Portland back to the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. There is a throughline of story in every song on The Land, The Water, The Sky, a remembrance of knowledge and teachings, a gratitude of wisdom passed down and carried. There are moments of frustration over a world wrought with colonial violence and pain, and the presence of joy, a fierce blissfulness that comes with walking the trails along the river, feeling the sand and the stones beneath her feet. It is the pride and the certainty that comes with knowing her ancestors walked along the same land, dipped their hands into the water, and ran their fingertips along the same bark of cedar trees. Even in its most melancholy moments it is never despairing. That is the beauty of returning home.


Next month, Black Belt Eagle Scout will play select shows across the Pacific Northwest. Following, she’ll tour across Europe for the first time before returning stateside for a month of shows. Tickets for newly-announced dates will be available via pre-sale February 6th – 10th, with general on sale running congruent to album release day. A portion of presale ticket proceeds will go to Potlatch Fund, a Native-led nonprofit organization formed in 2002 that provides grants and leadership development to Tribal Nations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. A full list of dates can be found below.