Sometimes when you get introduced to particular artists, their sound can speak to you in ways that others don’t. When we first heard the atmospheric tones of Portland’s Black Belt Eagle Scout, it drew plenty of emotion in us. Whether it be from the earnest tone of the vocals, the spacey swells of guitar or just the way the words stick in your head, it definitely made its mark. On their new album At the Party With My Brown Friends they take that sound and expand on it while adding beautiful arrangements and a sound that’s all their own.
The opener “At the Party” should gear you up for what’s coming, and eclipse of planetary tones mixed with haunting and at times soothing vocals. In some ways, you’re lulled in with a calming demeanor, though the lyrics are vibrantly intimate. The melodic and upbeat pacing of “My Heart Dreams” pulls your ears in and holds them while “Run It to Ya” paints a beautiful picture of love. The album has multiple elements that never really sway from the feeling that these are all just postcards in a book that were collected rather than sent.
The softer side of the album falls on “Half Colored Hair” and “Going to the Beach With Haley,” both offering a tender and loving nuance you don’t always hear in music anymore. At first glance, the tracks seem simple, though there’s a heavy amount of instrumentation that lies underneath and makes each track stretch out like youthful arms into the sunshine. Though with all of this, “I Said I Wouldn’t Write This Song” was our favorite. With an luminescent glow that you feel from the upbeat structuring and the way the vocals and the snappy rhythms pop off of one another, Black Belt Eagle Scout drives the song with a heartfelt honesty that no one else could give it.
At the Party With My Brown Friends can be purchased on multiple formats including a limited edition three colored stripe vinyl directly from Saddle Creek Records. It can also be purchased digitally wherever you download music or streamed wherever you stream it. Black Belt Eagle Scout will be on tour beginning October 21 in Portland, OR at Mississippi Studios until December 08 at Union Transfer in Philadelphia, PA. Their complete tour routing can be found here.
Image Credits: Photo by Sarah Cass.