Seattle has long been synonymous with depressing weather and its gradual effect on the metropolis’ citizens. While we can’t be certain that dismal rain clouds had a direct influence in Kid Smpl’s production of Escape Pod, the 22-year-old Seattle resident’s new 5-track EP is undoubtedly steeped in the lonesome introspection of a poignant landscape.
Escape Pod starts off with the title track, a slow and minimal wave of strings, keys, dissonant and infrequent percussions, and distant hymn-like vocals. There is no real harmony here, instead, abundance of dramatic silence in between the attack and release of instrumentals. The following tracks only build from here, adding different layers in a similar fashion. The one standout track is D33J’s remix of “Pulse,” which notably is the only song with drums throughout, not to mention other elements of traditional song formatting, which seem to be missing in Kid Smpl’s music. That’s not to say there is no order to Escape Pod; there is absolutely an ebb and flow throughout the album, although much is the music is complemented by an equal amount of silence.
Listening to Escape Pod is like sitting alone on the beach with your feet in the hot sand and watching the waves crash on the shore, then retreat back into the ocean only to return a moment later, or reminiscent of starring out the window of a spacecraft, watching the distant stars pulsate but not really move at all, as you meander aimlessly through outer space. A good word to describe Escape Pod is minimalist, and unless you’re already a fan, you can find more intriguing minimalist music out there.