Los Angeles-based alternative pop duo ALKE recently premiered their powerful new single “Without You!” On the surface, the track has all the elements of a love song, but below the surface is the search for one’s independence. This indie-pop track is perfect for the summer!
Comprised of Jameson Flood (production, guitar, keys) and AK Karrasch (vocals), ALKE formed when the duo met in 2015. When they aren’t creating their own new music, ALKE occasionally collaborates with other artists by either lending vocals or adding to the track’s production.
We caught up with AK to discuss how she and Jameson met, their new track, “Without You,” and about how much they love wine. Check it out below!
How did the duo come together?
We met each other in 2015 at a studio in Nashville. I was in town for a couple of days working on a project and during some down time, Jameson and I wrote what became our first single that night. We had no idea what our creative relationship would bring, but we kept writing together over the course of the next year. I was just on the cusp of pursuing a solo project but it just didn’t feel like me. Jameson was just on the cusp of producing for a wide group of artists, and a band called Night Beds being one of them. Like a lot of bands or duos, it’s kind of just happened. It felt right and it was fun creating a sound together.
Who or what has inspired your sound and latest track “Without You?”
“Without You” came of course from a personal experience, but it was that in combination with the situation, that ultimately led us to become a duo that really glued the song together. While creating music together was natural and fun there were some people that didn’t approve of it. When we formed ALKE it felt like we were rebelling for a greater cause. It sounds dramatic but that’s what the music industry is. One thing Jameson and myself have in common is our attachment to our songs. They’re a part of us, so when we feel that our creative control or our own intuition is being attacked we just create more and more. That’s how “Without You” was formed. I felt really raw and broken when I wrote those lyrics but it was empowering to write a “love” or “upbeat” song even in the midst of hard ship.
Is there a story behind your band name?
“Alke” is a Greek goddess – the human manifestation of courage. The name really resonated with us as finding courage felt like a constant theme in both of our lives. The name Alke didn’t sound too feminine or too masculine, it just sounded bold. It puts a smile on my face when I get to tell people our band name because it’s a small subliminal way I can try to instill courage in someone’s day if they ask about it. It takes courage just getting up in the morning and sometimes we forget that and we get too hard on ourselves.
What is your favorite show memory?
Since we’re a fairly new band we’ve only played a handful of shows but, I’d say our first show was our favorite. We didn’t have a name, or really any idea what all of it would lead to, but we visited LA from Nashville and met some amazing musicians that we are fortunate to now call our good friends. After only knowing us for about a week our (now) friend (and consistent drummer) Nick Ineck played drums for us at Dirty Laundry. We played maybe a 40 min set and it was the first time I really felt comfortable on stage. It was then we knew we were at the beginning of the beginning.
What would be your dream tour and why?
We haven’t been on your yet, so our “dream” tour would probably be a tour where people showed up.
Tell us about your writing process; any unusual quirks?
Every time is different, however, I think what makes us unique is Jameson’s ability to take a small idea of mine and turn it into a soundtrack for that exact emotion. We both like to push each other creatively but we refrain from any pressure or expectations. We’d rather have 5 songs that mean everything to us, that are powerful and strong than have 25 songs. We both believe in “quality over quantity”. That’s what we strive for anyway. Also. Wine. We like wine.
What’s your favorite song to cover?
If you were to create a “soundtrack to your life,” what songs would be on it?
Le Tigre – Deceptacon
Shania Twain, every song.
Ella Fitzgerald – Someone to Watch Over Me
Gloria Gayner – I Will Survive
Aretha Franklin – Natural Woman
Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody
R. Kelly – Exit
Magnum PI theme song
Christopher Cross – Sailing
Ryan Adams – Shadowlands
Marvin Gay- Inner City Blues
Q Tip – Vivrant Thing