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As a member of the New York City bands Beekeeper and Ida, bass player Karla Schickele was a valued member of the songwriting process and an indispensable collaborator. In 2000, long after the demise of Beekeeper and amidst a dramatic increase in Ida's popularity, Schickele embarked on her first outing as frontwoman for her simply titled band, k.. With an emphasis on the collaborative spirit while working with the likes of Retsin's Tara Jane O'Neil and His Name is Alive's Warren Defever, Schickele recorded and released a number of singles as k., including a split release with the Duluth, MN, trio Low called Those Girls. k.'s songs on that single were noticeably different from her previous work; focused and starkly beautiful, they offered the first glimpse of a songwriter coming into her prime. Schickele continued to play and record with Ida, and also became a co-proprietor (with ex-Ida drummer Michael Littleton) of a Brooklyn boutique called Big Deal Art Records Junk while working on the debut k. LP. Released in the summer of 2001, New Problems made good on the quiet promise of the Those Girls EP, confirming the impressive progression that Schickele had made as a songwriter, and effectively updating the Laurel Canyon sound.