Particularly for a debut record, Black Belt Eagle Scout's Mother of My Children dealt with, well, a lot. As has rapidly been canonized among fans, the album was conceived amid the protests at Standing Rock – protests her family were deeply involved with. It was a decidedly strong record, in its emotions, in its convictions, in its sorrow, and in its message.

Returning just under a year later with At the Party with My Brown Friends, Katherine Paul has taken some much deserved, and likely much needed, me time. This isn't to call it a light album, it's often quite the opposite, but it does feel less burdened by a grand, sad world of turmoil. Instead, it’s alight with Paul's own hopes, desires, and struggles.

It's all the stronger for it. At The Party at once somehow feels more intimate and, yes, relatable. Paul hasn't given up any of her personality, but here she lets the listener in to her cellar and lets them rummage about. Gone are the crashing sounds of her debut, with Paul offering lush comfort in their place. Songs build gently, tapping right into a collective pleasure center. Often, what's not said is as striking as what is, the album lets a quit uncertainty undercut even its pleasures. In turn, it captures the constant wondering and agonizing of even human “certainty.”

Naturally, she's still standing for what she believes in, with the video for lead single, 'At the Party' representing young indigenous women, calling attention to MMIW: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. While her passions still reign supreme, the album remains an infinitely listenable affair. The listener can hear each ache and sigh within her expressive singing. The likes of 'Going to the Beach with Haley' possesses the power to disarm completely; you'll find yourself stopping whatever you're doing, transfixed.

For an artist who'd established such a powerful presence with her first record, testing the waters and paddling in an altogether new direction was a bold risk, and one that's paid off greatly. Black Belt Eagle Scout has crafted an album to play any naysayer: At the Party with My Brown Friends will make a fan out of anyone.