New Sounds from New York: A.K.


On Tuesday, December 11, four bands played a tightly packed show at the Legion bar in Brooklyn. Presented by The Louisiana Purchasing Company, the show was the first in a while for Brooklyn’s own Alexandra Kalinowski, known to her friends and fans simply as “A.K.”  A.K. is semi-new to the Brooklyn scene, although she’s been playing music all her life. She grew up in Los Angeles and studied voice in Boston before moving to New York a couple years ago to pursue new music-related ventures. In Boston, A.K. led a male/female group called Old Hannah, and was part of a larger music community that tapped into folk traditions of  the past, performing “hootenannies” all over the city.

Old Hannah playing in Boston in early 2010:

Since moving to New York, A.K. has been teaching voice lessons and slowly brewing some songs of her own. She released her first solo work, a two-song record, over the summer called Stars | Right. The record is a step forward for A.K., who is ambitiously crafting her talent for a longer release that fans will hear in 2013.

The show A.K. played on December 11 allowed listeners to hear the material she’s been working on since living in New York. The songs unveil stories from travels abroad, old lovers, new relationships, and new dreams. A.K. had a full band accompanying her, including an upright bassist, a drummer, a violinist, a clarinetist, backup singers…they all blended well together, led by A.K., who sang the lead vocals and played keyboard. The best aspect of the show was the musician’s charm and storytelling that she revealed between songs. Even when she made slight mistakes during song intros or vocal climbs, the moments were immediately eased by her acceptance and grace, which made the concert a lot warmer and lighter. The audience appeared to be very responsive to her

If her performance this past week was any evidence of what we can expect in the future, then A.K., a strong vocalist and songwriter who can play guitar, piano, and accordion, has much to look forward to in terms of her music career. She will no doubt be compared to Regina Spektor, because he voice is also incredibly impressive in its range and style, but she will forge her own way with her unique songwriting and full-band sound.

Below are photos from the December 11 show. All photos by Spike McCue.

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