NYC-based brother band AJR was an unexpected favorite of my CMJ experience in 2013. Fast forward a year and a half. Adam, Jack, and Ryan (A-J-R, get it?) have signed with Warner Brothers (!), released that super catchy, Sponge Bob-sampling "I'm Ready" to lots of hype, and this past week dropped their debut full album set, Living Room.
It's hard to nail down the AJR sound and I think that is something they are quite cognoscente of. Seeing them live, they are instantly impressive because all three play multiple instruments on stage. Living Room the album puts on proud display how multi-functional each of them are, playing around with a variety of genres and sounds.
Setting aside super catchy, "I'm Ready" (which can now be heard in the trailer for the upcoming Amy Schumer/Bill Hader comedy Trainwreck), I was initially most excited to hear "Livin' On Love". Since that fateful CMJ night at the Gramercy Theater in 2013, the group released two indie EP releases but neither showed any sign of a certain "Motown-esque" doo-wop-y jam that I mentioned here which truly solidified my genuine interest in them. I now know "Livin' On Love" is that track and it's just as good as I remember it being.
Despite that excitement, my favorite of their brilliant debut set is the final cut "Big Idea" which essentially reads as a biography for the group. (It instantly jumped to my fave cut for the "Good Music's still Good even if no one's watching" line. #Preach.) This band of brothers literally created their own material (with "ProTools and a mic and a big idea") in their own living room (get the title now?) and are now signed to a major label with a big potential for mainstream success.
The album is available for download on iTunes now. Show you're love for the guys on Twitter (@AJRBrothers) and help spread the hype for their current single "Infinity", now gunning for radio.