“AKW is a band that at first blush might be mistaken for a singer-songwriter venture fronted by a wallfower. Make no mistake though, this is powerful, vulnerable, expansive stuff.”
by Natalie Jean Hagen:
AKW, an on-trend indie band from Los Angeles. They create the unique group who bring us a full-bodied and almost ethereal sound, similar to Youth Lagoon, Twin Oaks, and Karen O.
Alex Wisner, at fifteen years old, started out in The Tints with Alex on keys and vocals, Harely Viera Newton on guitar and vocals, and Clara Balzary (Flea of RHCP’s daughter) on drums. They released two original EP’s and headlined several Neon/Indie 103 Key Club shows. In addition, Vincent Gallo personally selected them to share the stage with The Zombies, Yoko Ono, Autolux, PJ Harvey, and Prefuse 73 at the All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival in England. They also made appearances in Teen Vogue, The LA Times, and mentions in Rolling Stone magazine.
When this band reached it’s end, Alex went onto score films. In the span of two years, she worked on over 30 different film projects and gained a whole new level of creative experience that rehabilitated the urge to start a band.
Alex later recreated herself into a group that is now AKW. They’ve released an album, three EP’s and on top of shooting three music videos, their single “Evergreen” from their Last Lines EP has been added to one of Ford’s car campaigns, a Swarovski campaign, American Idol and NBC’s The Night Watch.
AKW then went on a Fall Tour playing in the Pacific Northwest promoting Falling Whistles and a majority of shows in fan’s homes and backyards, warehouses, parks, etc. They created intimate experiences wherever they went and bonded with fans on a level they never had before.
AKW has always been about a DIY mindset of grassroot promotion and success.
The music resonates with this mindset. You listen and you feel like you’ve found a second emotional home.
AKW’s newest EP “To Be Alive” was funded by a Kickstarter that raised over $8,000 and has been promoted by Skrillex. This EP has been recorded with Tom McFall, who has engineered material for Regina Spektor and Weezer and produced material for Stars, etc.
Not only is this band a must-listen for all indie-music lovers, they’re relatable through their honest, heartfelt lyrics and can draw in any crowd. Whether the song is upbeat and catchy like “Evergreen”, or emotional and raw like “Hello”, AKW knows how to tug on the heartstrings of listeners and leave them wanting more.
It’s 1AM and I can’t sleep. AKW are pretty much the perfect remedy. Their newest track, To Be Alive, lifted from an EP out tomorrow, is quite possibly their finest yet, and without intending to sound patronising, definitely a noticeable step-up. Part Daughter, part London Grammar, To Be Alive is beautiful throughout, easily one of my favourite listens of the year.
“This trio from LA are one of those bands that leave you scratching your head as to how you’ve managed to miss them thus far. Their new EP, Last Lines, is astonishingly good; heart-tugging pop music that steers well clear of triteness simply through the weight of its convictions. There are echoes of Daughter’s all-consuming manner, but to search for influences or touching points would be something of an injustice to a band who are so beautifully and brilliantly their own. Meet your new favourite band…”
“Alex’s vulnerable auditory worlds have been available for public viewing for a while but with the support of Adam Cude on guitar and Daniel Donayre on drums, AKW will transcend your belief about what’s possible in music. You’ve heard music this beautiful before and the sound doesn’t seem entirely new. Yet somehow, their fusion of indie folk and ambient electronica feels fresh and almost entirely exposed. You immediately strike up a connection and daren’t let go.”
“AKW’s new record boasts a very wide range of jams that can bring one up from sorrow or slow the pace with musical grace, all the while staying fresh and never losing beat. Alex Wisner is an excellent vocalist and more than sports her talent throughout ‘For No One’ without much effort. The new album has the A.V.S. stamp of approval, and with their fanbases to grow, we hope to see AKW post some upcoming tour dates in the near future.”
“Having already featured on these pages in the last few months as part of LA duo FALKS, Alex Wisner is back for more, with her premier outfit, AKW. Their first official release since last years Silent War EP, Last Lines is a bolder outing, more expansive and confident in sound, but without losing the beauty possessed by their earlier releases, and much of that is down to Wisner’s stunning vocals. Whether it’s practically wailing ‘I have to figure this out on my own’ or weeping ‘there were photos on the walls / of when we were running for our lives’ over the top of a melancholic piano section (from EP standout track A Better Sea), AKW are primed for the big time, in the same way that CHVRCHES have been for so long. Check out A Better Sea and Last Lines below, and the full Last Lines EP underneath that.”