Puget Sounds

Welcome back to Puget Sounds, our column rounding up some of the best new releases from around the Pacific Northwest. Catch the featured artists at one of their upcoming Seattle-area shows.

Black Belt Eagle Scout, “At the Party With My Brown Friends”

Since unleashing her debut album as Black Belt Eagle Scout in 2017, Katherine Paul has quickly become one of the Northwest’s most vital indie-rock musicians. Less than a year after its Saddle Creek rerelease, the Portland-based songwriter — who grew up on the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community reservation near La Conner — returned with an exceptional sophomore effort, the title a statement of solidarity with other POC navigating the world. Its gentle rhythms roll in like bay waves on a calm day, Paul’s voice going from tender near-falsetto to half-whispers on the opening “At the Party,” the recurring lyric “We will always sing” a testament to the resilience of indigenous peoples. 8 p.m. Oct. 22, Fawcett Hall at Alma Mater, 1322 Fawcett Ave., Tacoma; $13, almamatertacoma.com. 8 p.m. Oct. 24, Tractor Tavern; 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., Seattle; $12, 21-plus; tractortavern.com


Chastity Belt, self-titled

While not exactly a comeback, the beloved Seattle quartet has returned from a mini hiatus that yielded a sterling solo record from singer/guitarist Julia Shapiro earlier this year. The delightfully jagged knots of riffage and whatever-punk hyphenates that characterized Chastity Belt’s endearing early albums have been smoothed out over the years, sounding clearer and softer on their slowly drifting fourth album (co-produced by Jay Som); the bandmates trade arrestingly wispy vocals. 8 p.m. Feb. 28, 2020; Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $20, all ages; neumos.com

Great Grandpa, “Four of Arrows”

Having built considerable local buzz with its 2017 debut, Great Grandpa deftly executes a sophomore shakeup on “Four of Arrows,” arriving Oct. 25 on Double Double Whammy. Largely shedding the grungy slacker rock that marked “Plastic Cough,” the quintet embraces its softer side with strings (courtesy of Abby Gundersen) and piano adding surprising lushness to some of the record’s folkier-leaning tunes like the teary-eyed “Split Up the Kids.” Lead singer Alex Menne — sounding more confident, powerfully emotive and clearer in the mix — is as commanding as Dolores O’Riordan coming out the other side of an emo YouTube rabbit hole on brawny opener “Dark Green Water” (in case you worried they forgot how to rock). 6:30 p.m. Nov. 16; Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., Seattle; $13, all ages, chopsuey.com

SassyBlack, “Ancient Mahogany Gold”

“I’m from space, I’m not from this earth,” professes Seattle’s cosmic R&B queen on funky, synth-clunking album closer “Black Excellence.” We’re inclined to believe her. The third solo album from THEESatisfaction alum SassyBlack is likely to send body and mind (not necessarily together) into the thermosphere with the wavy synths and nimble bass lines of the aptly titled “Sweet Vibes” and starry dance-floor glider “Depression.” It’s no wonder her holistic new record, birthed into the galaxy last month, inspired a cannabis oil of the same name. 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4; Stampede Cocktail Club, 119 N. 36th St., Seattle; 21-plus, sold out; heylocannabis.com/sessions/sassyblack. Opening for Mary Lambert 7 p.m. Nov. 11, Neptune Theatre, 1303 N.E. 45th St., Seattle; $23.50, stgpresents.org

somesurprises, self-titled

The first time I heard Natasha El-Sergany’s engrossing debut album still sticks with me — the heavy trod and eerily atmospheric guitars of “Late July” making a solitary drive up a foggy mountain road one dark, rainy morning all the more surreal. El-Sergany’s gauzy reverbed vocals and slowly building guitar squalls, which evaporate mystically on command, still echoed in my ears as I paddled out to the middle of a placid, volcano-made lake amid a light drizzle. Accompanied only by the rhythmic splashing of my paddle, the hazy nine-minute opus “Cherry Sunshine” replayed in my head as I began to drift, insulated from the rest of the world by the surrounding forest. The only thing that could break this tranquil spell was a weird (nearsighted or deranged?) bird gunning it across the water directly toward me. Had I not frantically yelped with the fury of one of El-Sergany’s cacophonous synth/guitar eruptions (albeit with none of the grace or splendor) seconds before the imminent collision, it would have ended poorly for both the bird and my face. Opening for The Cave Singers 9 p.m. Oct. 26; Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., Seattle; $20, sunsettavern.com