Black Belt Eagle Scout opens up with 'Mother of My Children' debut

*Photo by Jeremy Hernandez

The name Katherine Paul may or may not ring any bells. As a musician, Paul has contributed to other Portland acts like Genders and Forest Park, but Paul's recent output as Black Belt Eagle Scout is of particular noteworthiness. 

She doesn't necessarily fancy herself a songwriter, but what she's poured into the songs on her sophomore album Mother of My Children speaks otherwiseto her abilities. Queer and indigenous as part of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community of just outside Anacortes, Washington, Paul was already equipped with intriguing stories and experienes to tell. Once she was hit with a couple losses, Paul had even more emotional material.

“It’s about my best friend. We dated for a really long time, and I thought she was gonna be the mother of my children, quite literally," Paul told Seattle's The Stranger. "And so this past year, I just realized that was never going to happen... I had to let go.”

This, paired with the loss of a dear friend and mentor, bred Mother of My Children. Its songs are cathartic and put together with a particular beautiful sadness. Paul played every instrument herself, from the free Casio that gave"Keyboard" its tunes, to every participating unit that created the loud crashing of "Just Lie Down." 

Everything about Mother of My Children is tender and vulnerable, while still possessing a captivating energy. Stream it below.


'No Future' is a bright light for Rare Monk's future

A lot has changed for Rare Monk over the last few years. Their very first release, the Death By Proxy EP back in 2013, dotted them on Portland's indie rock map, with 2015's self titled EP locking them in place. But as with any classic band story, things got a bit iffy for the Rare Monk in the months to come. They've reached a point now where that iffiness has turned into a stable, fully developed sound that fits the band perfectly.

Rare Monk's most advantageous change came along with their shifted lineup. What started out at a 5-piece with an entirely different guitarist and violinist has now become a 4-piece focusing more on expansive guitar lines and complimenting harmonies thanks to the addition of lead guitarist/vocalist Hugh Jepson.

Along with Dorian Aites (vox, violin, keys, guitar), Rick Buhr on drums and Forest Gallien on bass, the foursome have based their summer release No Future on the lack of control humans have over their personal and collective futures. It's experimental indie rock with a dystopian base that's all sorts of enjoyable for how poignant its theme is.

See Rare Monk perform No Future tomorrow at Bunk Bar for a show they're playing with New York trio Wilsen


Get carried away with Braun's "Washed Away"

Ben Braun is definitely known for being half of local synth-pop act Mackintosh Braun, but he's also got his toes dipped deep into the solo music pool, and the temperature is just right. With Braun's first solo album Silent Silence, there's a lot of electro-synth-pop and a bit of musical history that makes it enjoyably legendary.

Granted Braun's pedigree, having created many synthy tunes with Mackintosh Braun partner for the last decade, the presence of that style on his album makes total sense. One of the first Silent Silence tracks to be written, "Washed Away" features a guest sax solo from Charlie DeChant. Music buffs may recognize DeChant's skills from the 10 years he spent playing with Hall & Oates. (Braun's father, drummer Michael Braun, also played with Hall & Oates)

To be originally recorded on his laptop, "Washed Away" has a consuming production that's hard to not get caught in. Listen to it below and look out for Silent Silence in October.


PREMIERE: LiquidLight - "Keep Me Out of It"

 LiquidLight's journey has taken them many places. Tours, poll wins, lineup changes and pretty much any achievement or hurdle that can pop up for a band along the way did, but that didn't stop the foursome from foraging on in their pursuits. Now, one of our Best Bands of 2015 have reached yet another high point in their music career - the release of their sophomore album.

What Uninitiated had done for them back in 2015 their newest, Wicked Radio, should do the same for them this year. The album sees LiquidLight plunging deeper into their known schtick of psychedelic alt-rock, accented with melodic vocality and rhythmic sweeps. They've released a couple tracks from Wicked Radio so far but today, we're premiering another one in preparation for their album release show this Sunday. 

"Keep Me Out Of It" is as enjoyable as any other LiquidLight track, starting fiercely with a steady guitar flow. It's yet another fine example of LiquidLight's collective mastery of their instruments, and another good look into what Wicked Radio will be like as a whole.

Dive into "Keep Me Out Of It" below, and be sure to hit up their album release show on 9.10 at Bunk Bar with Hollow Sidewalks and Down Gown.


STREAM: Radio Macbeth - 'Bubblegum Wasteland'

Those that enjoy indelible indie pop with a fuzzy, psychedelic flare need to be aware of Radio Macbeth, the new duo comprised of Darien Campo and Declan Hertel. Inspired by bands like Neutral Milk Hotel and Apples In Stereo, Radio Macbeth fashion fun and lively tracks with emotive and at times deep lyrics with poppy yet thick instrumentation. Bubblegum Wasteland is their debut, and it shows much promise for the new twosome.

Radio Macbeth went into recording Bubblegum Wasteland from an entirely DIY perspective. With about a $7 budget, the pair recorded their debut entirely in their apartment. The freedom of relying solely on themselves resulted in a truly lo-fi and enjoyable record.

Stream Radio Macbeth's debut below and be sure to keep an eye on what they've got going on next.