Check Aly & AJ‘s beautiful photoshoot for Numero Magazine and interview they gave.
When the California sister duo Aly & AJ released their dream-rock return in 2021, it marked a new beginning. A decade and a half into their careers, the album was their most realized yet, the work of a band reclaiming itself. In the wake of the runaway TikTok revival of their 2007 hit ‘Potential Breakup Song’, Aly & AJ transformed their foundation of Disney pop and TV sitcoms into a new vision of sparkling guitars, close harmonies, and highway sprawl, growing on their own terms.
After the success of ‘A Touch of the Beat Gets You Up on Your Feet Gets You Out and Then Into the Sun’ Aly & AJ returned right back to the studio. Their upcoming album ‘With Love From’, which is coming out 15th March, is a travelog filled with organic instrumentation and road songs, like a series of postcards to fans from each town they’ve seen on their journey. Aly & AJ will also kick off their ‘With Love From Tour’ on 30 March through late April, and then pick it up again in September.
Aly & AJ, you debuted your first album in 2005, when you were in your teens. What made you pursue a career in music?
Aly: I think it was something that we didn’t necessarily seek out professionally at first. I think it was a bit of a fluke, but it all started from us just being super creative as young children. Growing up, in school we were always involved in something creative, whether it was a speech meter, a talent show, a play. Music was a big part of our life. Growing up, we always had music in the house and we started playing instruments at young ages. Once we picked up multiple instruments, I think that started to kind of influence us as songwriters, which only happened after we really picked up guitar. And then that kind of showed us that we were more than just musical people. We were possibly artists because we were writing songs.
AJ: I think that ever since we were young, we were really creative kids, but we didn’t necessarily see ourselves doing this as a profession. We were born in LA, but we lived in Seattle for seven years. When we moved back to LA, it kind of opened the floodgates for more creative opportunity than obviously Seattle held. So I think acting and music kind of in a way started simultaneously. We got signed at such a young age and started playing instruments at such a young age that we then formed into a band and that led to writing our own music and playing live. In a way, I think that kind of curtailed our acting careers a little bit, because there was a confidence in who we were as a band at a young age that kind of brought a confidence to us as actors. So the two I think have definitely helped each other and we’ll always consider ourselves to be both. But right now, the focus is really on music cause we took such a long break from it.
Right after the succes of your 2021 album ‘A Touch of the Beat Gets You Up on Your Feet Gets You Out and Then Into the Sun’ you returned back to the studio, where you worked more quickly than ever on your upcoming album ‘With Love From’, which is being released on 15th March. This is an album of haunting introspection and personal recollections, like a lost diary that has been found. What drove you to record a new album so quickly? Tell us more about the inspirations behind it and what can we expect from it?
Aly: I think we were just inspired to get back in the studio again because we felt like we had new inspiration and more songs inside of us. Obviously, at that point we had finished all of the production and writing and everything on ‘A Touch of the Beat …’ as well as the Deluxe version, but we had some inspiration still left in us and we didn’t want to wait and hold onto that until we were quote unquote available again. We kind of knew that we would be out on the road a lot this year, so we thought it would be best to have another record that was kind of on the back burner really, waiting for us to be completed.
So we just got back in again and we worked with all the same collaborators that we did ‘A Touch of the Beat …’ with. In different ways, but the same producerwe recorded it again at Sunset Sound. I don’t know exactly what inspired us to get back in necessarily, but I just knew that we had more music to make and we really love the writing process. I think that’s one of our favorite parts of making records. For us, that’s the fun part and we can do that for many months out of the year, again and again, as long as we’re feeling inspired about topics that we wanna write about.
AJ: It’s funny, people have asked “Why so fast? ” And I’m like “Why not? ” To me, it makes sense that we went this quick because first of all, it’s never that fast. It actually took quite a bit of time. But in terms of timing out the records to be so close and so back to back, they feel like two sister records to each other. ‘With Love From’ does feel like a little bit of a continuation. We had so much to say when we released ‘A Touch of the Beat …’ and it was 16 songs. Aly and I hadn’t released a full length record in so long that it just felt right. And so to have additional 11 coming out just makes sense for us in so many ways, because we were just on a roll with our writings. We were like “Let’s not stop this while it’s on the move”.