Premiere: Kid Smpl, "Promise"

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A piano interlude delicate in delivery and shrouded in uncertainty.

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January 30, 2013

Before the girl's whispers can become intelligible, Kid Smpl interrupts with a pristine piano tucked in the confines of an echo chamber. He softly howls along further in the distance with the yeahhs and ohhs of a r&b singer affirming how much he needs his lady, but the space of "Promise" is not leveled in certainty. The distant calls feel nearly lost in the amplified echoes of the twinkling ivories. Among the night sounds of crickets and looming highway traffic her voice returns to state something to the effect of being overwhelmingly fine, but the rest is muddled and we never quite cling to a sense of comfort. There's resolve, but it's left unsaid whether it's out of elation or compromise. The nature of "Promise" is left to the listener's interpretation.

Evan Cohen's animation is attuned to the unsettling space created by Kid Smpl, as his work never takes an absolute form, but manifests in evolutions that vary between connection and randomness. The animation is book-ended by a girl's face, much like Kid Smpl's field recording of a girl's confession, but neither artist is willing to clearly define "Promise".

Kid Smpl's Skylight is out now on Hush Hush.

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