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Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Indie




"AKW's Upcoming EP, and "Acoustic Nights" at House of Blues Demonstrates That Live Music can Survive alongside EDM"

Music critic and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, among others, believes "for better or worse, live acts and live performers are being squeezed out in favor of EDM."

But a recent evening out on LA's famous Sunset Strip at hip new lounge Vaucluse, saw eclectic pop trio AKW play their fusion of acoustic, and ambient pop-rock in front of a trippy mural of Hollywood legend, Charlie Chaplin. The super chic building that houses Vaucluse, which was recently opened by Aussie couple Claire and Brad Cox, was once owned by Chaplin. And after AKW's captivating performance, Chaplin's spirit watched over as a DJ and EDM took over for the rest of the night.

Bottom line, live music still has a place in today's world of digital downloads and EDM performances. For example, one of AKW's fans was musician Brittany O'Neill who's been performing monthly at "Acoustic Nights" in the Voodoo Lounge at House Of Blues, presented by Kevin Briggs of Briggs Entertainment.

O'Neill, who comes from a passionate music family in Richmond, Virginia, is performing at the Voodoo's "Acoustic Nights" on September 16. In today's music environment, she finds it necessary to explore new gateways beyond being just a singer-songwriter. So she explains she's been a front woman for a Motown cover band and a wedding band singer, she continues to be a studio session vocalist, and a lyricist-for-hire, and in collaboration with others, she's just co-written an EDM influenced tune ("Gone fishing"), and a neo-soul song ("Why is he so good to me?").

But she's excited about her monthly live HOB acoustic gig, saying, "Sure a lot of music is consumed by download, and EDM is increasingly popular, but there are also all sorts of other opportunities for solo performers to play and perform around town. 'Acoustic Nights' serves several purposes: performing live is my passion; it also keeps me focused on writing new songs or learning new cool covers, because I don't like playing the same thing; and, I love getting my music pals together, like AKW's guitarist Adam Cude. It's also a great way to promote your own EP or merch in a famous, well trafficked venue."

Guitarist-songwriter Cude's AKW, along with band founder and singer Alex Wisner and drummer Daniel Donayre, played tunes from their upcoming new EP "To Be Alive" at Vaucluse. The band has some serious indie rock cred with Wisner previously performing with The Intervals and The Tints.

Cude, who co-wrote AKW's upcoming EP, toured the Pacific Northwest with AKW last year and tells this story: "We played one of our stripped down gigs, and then a DJ came out with his crate of old vinyl right after us. It was old school spinning. And to be honest, a lot of EDM stuff is good too -- as long as it's honest and you're getting out what's inside of you. Our own music covers a wide spectrum, from acoustic and ambient sounds to heavier riffs with me playing both acoustic and electric guitars."

A quick look at lists of the top acoustic songs of all time include some of the greatest songs ever written, including, The Beatles "Yesterday," "Here Comes the Sun" and "Blackbird," Bob Marley's "Redemption Song," Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'," Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer," and, Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here." Then there are contemporary artists like The White Stripes' "We're Going to be Friends" and Jake Bugg's "Lightning Bolt."

Cude, who mentions how someone like Eric Clapton can take a classic rocked out tune like "Layla" and re-energize it by doing an acoustic version, suggests: "Depending on the venue size, we often strip down our tunes and it almost makes it new again. It brings back the excitement and feeling of when you first wrote that song, maybe on acoustic guitar or on piano. We love changing it up like that, and nothing beats playing live. Sometimes, less really is more!"

Check out Brittany O'Neill at the Voodoo Lounge Acoustic Nights on September 16. - The Huffington Post

"AKW - To Be Alive/The Hunt"

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. Check out the video for it below, alongside another new track, the equally brilliant, The Hunt, and grab the EP here. - Crack in the Road

"AKW | Last Lines"

“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.” - Crack in The Road

"AKW | Last Lines"

“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 | Last Lines"

“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…” - Gold Flake Paint

"AKW | Silent War"

“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:” - PQ Monthly (Portland)


AKW | To Be Alive EP (Released October 31st, 2014)

AKW | Last Lines EP (Released July 27st, 2013)

AKW | Silent War EP (Released July 13th, 2012)

AKW | For No One (Released February 1st, 2012)



AKW, an on-trend indie band from Los Angeles, create the unique full-bodied and ethereal sound, similar to Youth Lagoon, Daughter, and Karen O.

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 and others.

AKW's musical approach of poetry layered with melodic visceral sounds leaks out light into the darkness of life.

Band Members