Black Belt Eagle Scout sublimates unrequited love on “Soft Stud”

Black Belt Eagle Scout‘s new single “Soft Stud” is out now on Saddle Creek.

A self-described radical indigenous queer feminist, Katherine Paul aka Black Belt Eagle Scout self-released her debut album “Mother of my Children” last year, which features “Indians Never Die“. It hasn’t taken long for the music industry to pick up on her, as she has just signed with Saddle Creek Records, who are re-issuing KP’s debut in a few months. Now that’s what I call good business decision-making. Black Belt Eagle Scout is based in Oregon, but (give or take a couple hundred miles) you could’ve probably guessed that by listening to their new single “Soft Stud”.

Katherine Paul makes music that could be described as typically North-western – think Sleater-Kinney’s “The Woods,” which successfully merged their more melodic side with an ambition to go beyond the three-minute rock song. Paul, after all, taught herself how to play music with old Hole and Nirvana tapes, and her music works as a convincing display of that angsty abrasiveness that defined part of the alternative rock scene during the 90s. Starting off with a classic chord progression played with distorted guitars and crunchy bass, “Soft Stud” is a six-minute rock banger that thrives on repetition and intense instrumental build-ups to express a relatable feeling of unrequited love. While the song’s vocal melody is as infectious as it gets, the true gift here is the hook-laden guitar solo that brings “Soft Stud” to its conclusion. Whether Black Belt Eagle Scout is expressing it with words or with impressive guitar shredding, Katherine Paul succeeds in evoking the deep dissatisfaction that comes with unreciprocated feelings.