If you have heard AJR or seen one of their shows, it’s not hard to see that the trio – made up of brothers Adam, Jack and Ryan met – are children of the theater at heart. While they’ve certainly played with these influences before, AJR is finally realizing their destiny with OK ORCHESTRA.
The next album, due out this Friday, finds AJR fully embracing their theatrical side in a way that they hadn’t done before on previous records. OK ORCHESTRA starts with a literal opening and includes narrative ideas that appear throughout the tracklist.
As Ryan tells ABC Audio, you can expect songs with “endings so huge, explosive, and out of control you don’t really hear in alternative or pop music.”
“I think we’re definitely looking more into this world,” Ryan said. “It’s kind of intrinsic to us, it’s kind of rooted in our DNA to make this kind of theatrical music.”
“It feels good to finally do it and be understood by the fans,” he adds.
OK ORCHESTRA was preceded by the hit single “Bang!”, which AJR initially ended up giving the overall impression of the record.
“In fact, we even had a different title for the album that sounded more like ‘Bang!’ felt, ”says Ryan.“ Then over the year and the pandemic, I think we started to feel life very differently and to feel more grateful for things. It really changed the course of what the album ended up sounding like. “
This vibe can be felt in the single “Way Less Sad”, which AJR says reflects a “relevant concept”.
“It was like ‘OK, how do we do the AJR-if?’ and contextualize it in a place where people feel, like, “Oh my god, this is my song right now!” ”Ryan said.
By Josh Johnson
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