It’s been three long years since we’ve heard from Swinomish, Washington’s Black Belt Eagle Scout, but today, the indie rock project of Katherine Paul returns with the new single “Don’t Give Up.”
“Don’t Give Up” is a song of persistence that flits seamlessly between steady moments of calm and roaring cacophonies of shoegaze-inspired guitars. “Slow, important love/ It keeps me alive,” Paul sings in the opening lines. “You wanted a second chance at life/ Well, you’re alive.” The song’s title isn’t quite a pep talk, but a reflection of personal growth: “I don’t give up anymore,” she repeats in the chorus.
“Spending time with the land and on the water are ways that strengthen my connection to my ancestors and to my culture,” Paul says of the inspiration behind the track. “It helps heal my spirit and is the form of self-care that helps me the most. The lyrics ‘I don’t give up’ mean staying alive. I wrote this song for me but also for my community and anyone who deals with challenging mental health issues to remind us just how much of a role our connection to the environment plays within our healing process.” At the end of the song when I sing ‘the land, the water, the sky,’ I wanted to sing it like my late grandfather Alexander Paul Sr. sang in our family’s big drum group — from the heart.”
In line with “Don’t Give Up”‘s themes of mental health, Paul teamed up with artist Willow Tomeo on t-shirts with proceeds going to Chief Seattle Club, an organization benefitting unhoused Native people in Seattle — a hotspot for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People epidemic. Get your t-shirt at the Saddle Creek website.
Across the pond, Paul has also announced a short run of UK/EU headlining tour dates, beginning in Manchester on February 24th and ending in Dublin on March 5th. Head over to Ticketmaster for your tickets, and then listen to Black Belt Eagle Scout’s “Don’t Give Up” below.
Since sharing At the Party with My Brown Friends — which we rightfully named one of 2019’s best albums — Black Belt Eagle Scout has been featured on the soundtrack to the FX series Reservation Dogs, as well as on Dig Me In: A Dig Me Out Covers Album doing Sleater-Kinney’s “It’s Enough.”