Last Lines - AKW

So recently, I’ve let a few fragrant sounds through my ears without telling you. And although I love drifting into distant worlds held aloft by headphones, it’s so much better to be sharing it with others. Today, I think you should step in Alexandra K. Wisner’s world.

I’ll admit. We’re not the first ones here. But does it really matter that we couldn’t see this utopia rise from its roots? Alex has been sculpting planets for over eight years now and her latest EP Last Lines is the most inhabitable to date; you’ll want to extend your visa now.

People often mutter about the beginnings of life and the universe as if the answer will provide some meaning to your existence. But the origins of Alex’s world are more lucid. Her tumblr page provides glimpses into how the world formed and reading the biographical stories feels like staring right into her eyes. This honesty, this fragility, this poignancy pours into the music like the sun pours warmth onto my skin.

The title track will conjure comparisons with Daughter’s delicately vulnerable sound. Poetic lyrics lace the track like bubbles of Alex’s past. But opener ‘A Better Sea’ immediately marks AKW’s more expansive intentions. Spectral vocals cast a haunting tone over a melancholic piano whilst being wary not to be too despondent or chilling. And when Alex delivers the final verse “I start to feel all the weight of the world/It’s on my shoulders and it’s just fucking wrong” its impression is so strong that it’s now become a landmark.

To be honest, it takes a certain type of person to genuinely empathise with the affecting lyrics. Those people are rare. But beyond that, you’re still left with music so confidently composed that you wonder why the LA-based trio haven’t garnered more attention. Many introverts will find their own meaning when ‘Where I Go When There’s No One’ opens with the line ”I left all my friends at home/Just to find some space to be alone”. But the expressive guitar beneath leaves an equally sentimental tone before the track unleashes its tension into a frenzy.

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.

And it’s culminates perfectly with ‘Evergreen’. Those vocals…you wander around whimsically full of philosophical contemplations while those vocals soundtrack it all. You touch the flora to make sure it’s real and stare at the fauna in complete wonderment before drinking from the river in the valley. The vague uncertainty of its beauty makes it all the more alluring and tender.

I don’t want to drift through worlds anymore. Can I stay here forever?