New Music Monday: AKW

PQ introduces you to the lovely, plaintive sounds of LA-based duo AKW in today’s New Music Monday.

For being such a young band, AKW has quite the credentials. By the time she was twelve years old, frontwoman Alex Wisner had already played multiple sets at such famous Los Angeles rock clubs as Roxy, Whiskey, Key Club and the Knitting Factory with her indie band the Intervals. Wisner later went on to form the Tints, for which she received loud acclaim from Rolling Stone, Nylon, Teen Vogue, the Los Angeles Times, and even actor/director Vincent Gallo, who hand-picked the Tints for the famed All Tomorrow’s Parties festival. After taking a few years focused on composing electronic music for film scores, Wisner decided to return to the stage and formed AKW with bandmate Adam Cude.

AKW’s brand-new EP Silent War is a subtle, marvelous work, simultaneously timeless and on-trend. Wisner’s plaintive vocals perfectly showcase her simple-yet-poetic lyrics over a bed of electronic-inflected indie rock, evoking by turns Cat Power, Youth Lagoon, Sufjan Stevens, and Cant. Wisner took to her Tumblr page to explain the inspiration behind Silent War:

There are days when a solemness envelopes you entirely.
It lacks a point of attack or a reason to emote but it – it gives you what seems like a moment to reflect.
I have worked endlessly to be honest.
While we grow up, we become accustomed to being a sponge. We soak experience, ideas, rules and learn to believe others’ limitations.
Rising from that, I’ve been wrenching myself- twisting and turning- only to find a new set of pores.
I can breathe.
What we’ve written for this EP is that honesty breathing.
Please take the time to listen, from beginning to end, and hopefully you will feel the beat of a heart pounding pressure to your ears and be chilled by the newfound air.

Get a taste of the AKW experience by checking out the videos for “Who Started This?” and “Child in a Coat,” as well as the Shawn Butcher-directed short film “Outside the Box” scored by Wisner herself. However, most importantly, go listen to Silent War in its entirety on AKW’s BandCamp page — you won’t regret it.