Song of the Day: Kid Smpl – Ja

photo by Victoria Holt

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Ja” by Kid Smpl from the 2014 EP Silo Tear on Hush Hush.

Kid Smpl – Ja (MP3)

It’s amazing just how much Joey Butler, a.k.a. Kid Smpl, has already done at the early age of 23. He’s signed a deal with Hush Hush Records, run by KEXP’s own DJ Alex Ruder. He’s crafted, recorded, and produced three EPs and three collections of remixes of not only his own music but also those of more popular artists. Despite his low profile, Kid Smpl’s simply an artist who should be recognized for his persistent effort thus far.

“Ja,” today’s featured song, momentarily delves into the territory of dubstep, but never does Kid Smpl stay there. He crosses genres in his creative process, blending elements of hip-hop, new age, ambient, and R&B. Scattered throughout the piece, there is chilling white-noise, heavy distortion, and an entrancing synth dalliances. Due to the somber nature of his tracks, some listener-circles are dubbing his genre as “night-bus,” stating that his music encompasses the same mixture of contemplation, solitude, and exhaustion one is likely to feel on lengthy late-night bus ride.

Kid Smpl recently played a set at Q Nightclub, but has no future dates listed yet. Check his website and Facebook page for updates. For now, you can stream his new album, Silo Tear, on Bandcamp and watch his music video below for “Over,” another pivotal track from the No Northwest Cycle 2 EP #3, below:

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