We live in an age of music where genres don't really mean much of anything anymore. One person might call a song "indie-pop," another person might call it "alternative dance," and yet another just might call it "rock." When you really think about it, what does "pop" even mean? You can probably find at least five different answers to that question. Anyway, musical styles are constantly blending more and more into each other, and few bands understand this fact better than New York-based trio AJR
, who recently dropped by Baeble HQ to play a few upbeat tunes.
The band of brothers- Adam, Jack, and Ryan Met - began playing music on the streets of New York way back in 2005, busking in places like Washington Square Park and honing their craft by performing covers. Eventually, the trio began writing their own music, which they still record completely on their own in their Chelsea apartment. With inspirations like the Beach Boys and Simon and Garfunkel as well as old pop records from the 50s and 60s, you'd think AJR would be all about writing vintage, nostalgia-laced pop/rock music. But what has made the band stand out from other DIY bands, and has got them the attention of some big names in music, is their ability to take both old and new styles across multiple genres and fuse them together into a singular sound. Take their single "Weak," for example: You hear the typical styles of radio-friendly indie pop, but then out of nowhere, you can also hear elements of hip-hop, dance music, and even classic rock and doo-wop. The result is a kind of unique sound you really can't pin to a specific genre, but we at least know one thing: It's undeniably AJR.
The trio's blend of musical styles has rightfully earned them millions of online streams ("Weak" alone has over 100 million Spotify streams), features in movies like Amy Schumer's Trainwreck
, and opening spots for big-time acts like Demi Lovato, Train, and Andy Grammer. Not too shabby for a bunch of guys recording music in their pajamas. We're super excited to share AJR's upbeat Baeble session, featuring a stripped-back setup reminiscent of the band's early busking days. Armed with a ukulele and a sampler, this almost-acoustic session will give you an even bigger appreciation for AJR's distinct songwriting skills.
Indie-pop trio AJR have come a long way since forming 10 years ago, when they got their start busking on the streets and in the parks of New York City.
Comprised of three brothers Adam, Jack, and Ryan from which the group derives their namesake, AJR first achieved major acclaim with their single Im Ready. The electro-pop smash is certified Platinum with over 18.5 million YouTube views, 44.5 million Spotify streams, a feature in Amy Schumers Trainwreck trailer, double platinum certification in Australia and airplay on pop radio stations across the country. The hit garnered praise from Billboard, PopCrush, Idolator and more and secured them live performances on TODAY, Live with Kelly, X Factor Australia, and VH1 Big Morning Buzz.
Their latest release What Everyones Thinking is a 5-song EP decorated with explosive choruses and buoyant synth. Lead single from the EP, Weak, has received early acclaim while racking up over 56 Million Spotify streams. The track currently sits at #32 on SPOTIFYs U.S. chart, #31 on SPOTIFYs Global chart, and is now impacting at Top 40 radio.
From the introspective, yet upbeat EP opener Come Hang Out, to the quirky Im Not Famous, to the emotional Turning Out and closer No Grass Today, What Everyones Thinking has something for everyone and showcases the bands undeniable knack for creating hits.
Adam (bass/vocals), is a 25-year old Columbia University graduate. Ryan (ukulele/piano/ vocals), a bespectacled 22-year old Columbia junior serves as the bands main songwriter (in addition to AJRs music, he has also co-written Andy Grammers hits Back Home and certified Gold record Good To Be Alive). Jack (vocals/guitar), the 18-year old force-of-nature who splits time between lead vocals and also attends Columbia as a freshman.
Raised on the vinyl of the '50s and '60s, AJR was initially inspired by the likes of The Beach Boys and Frankie Valli, but the sound theyve created has now been favorably compared to a modern mix of those classic sounds, with flavors of Imagine Dragons, Fun., and even some hip-hop production elements pointing towards Kanye West.
AJR writes, records, and produces all of their music from the living room of their Chelsea apartment. No pop Svengali overseeing their work. No studio musicians filling in the blanks. No Max Martin co-write. Simply a DIY pop group with Pro Tools and a $99 microphone.