Aly & AJ Michalka, popularly known as Aly & AJ, have returned with a new sound on their latest album, "With Love From." The two sisters used an echo chamber to process the vocals, which marks a shift in their musical direction. This article explores the journey of the former Disney stars and their evolution as artists.
The Early Days
Aly was just 15 years old, and AJ was 13 years old when they signed to Disney's Hollywood Records label in 2004. During the audition, they performed six original acoustic guitar tracks they had written in their bedroom, sitting on the floor. They became famous as pop stars and teen idols thanks to hits like "Potential Breakup Song" and their roles in the Disney film "Cow Belles."
Despite their initial success, the sisters were persistent in pursuing their artistic vision, always raising their hand to take creative control. They wanted to be more than just Disney stars and sought to establish their unique identity as adult women.
A Change in Direction
In 2009, the sisters changed their band name to 78violet, hoping to distance themselves from their Disney-like image. However, their music career faltered, and two albums were shelved. The sisters were struggling to figure out their voice as adult women and had an "identity crisis."
For a decade, the sisters remained musically silent while continuing to act. But then, they recorded the song "Pretty Places," which they felt brought them back to their roots. The sisters felt they had found their sound again.
Rediscovering Their Voice
After "Potential Breakup Song" gained popularity on TikTok, Aly & AJ recorded a new version of the song with a more mature sound. The sisters were initially skeptical of singing their old hit song, but they had revamped it in a new way that they thought was cool.
In 2021, Aly & AJ performed at two major music festivals, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits. However, their tour bus was caught in the crossfire of a mass shooting last year in Sacramento, where six people were killed, and multiple others were wounded. While they were not hurt, they found shell casings in their trailer. The experience motivated them to write a song about the incident as a way to heal, although they're not sure if they will ever release it.
The Sisterly Bond
Aly & AJ are hitting the road again this month, leaving their Disney days further behind them. Their sisterly bond remains their superpower, along with their individuality. They understand each other's quirks and think for each other in a weird way.
AJ agrees, saying, "And then sometimes, we have to be like, 'but let's show each other respect.'" The sisters acknowledge the importance of maintaining their individualism and believe it has helped them evolve as artists.
Aly & AJ's journey is a testament to the importance of artistic vision and creative control. They wanted to establish their unique identity as adult women and distance themselves from their Disney-like image. Through a decade of silence, they rediscovered their voice and are now back on the road with a new sound. Their sisterly bond remains their superpower, and their individuality has helped them evolve as artists.
Q: How old are Aly & AJ now?
A: Aly is 33, and AJ is 31.
Q: What is Aly & AJ's new album called?
A: Their latest album is called "With Love From."
Q: What was the name of Aly & AJ's band before they changed it?
A: They were previously known as 78violet.