Alyson and Amanda Joy Michalka don’t always pick the most original names. But they do make great music.
They call their latest EP Ten Years, after the ten years since their last release.
You might remember Aly & AJ from Disney Channel. Aly starred on the Disney Channel TV show Phil of the Future and they recorded “Zip- A- Dee – Do- Dah” for Disney Mania 3. Aly named her guitar Zippity in honor of the occasion. Disney- owned Hollywood Records produced their albums Into The Rush, Acoustic Hearts of Winter and Insomniatic (a name they made up). They had a hit in 2007 with “Potential Breakup Song“, a catchy techno ditty about a dumb dude who did them dirty. They tried on the name 78violet and independently released the single “Hothouse” in 2013 before ditching music for acting. Aly acts on iZombie and AJ acts on The Goldbergs. So technically, they took four years to release new music, but ten years to release new Aly & AJ music.
They released Ten Years August 2017 through their LLC, Aly & AJ LLC. Ten Years follows the vein of sister bands like Haim and Say Lou Lou. When I hear new pop these days, I always wonder: “Why can’t someone I already know sing this song?” I know why: because unknowns cost less. But with Ten Years, I got my wish. I already like Aly and AJ and they made trendy , 80’s influenced Swedepop, complete with dreamy vocals and fresh beats. The drop in “Take Me” gets me every time. I also dig the single’s creepy, Coppola- inspired music video.
The EP still has a few cringe- worthy lyrics (“all this is is another big break with promises”, “Promises”). Overall, though, Ten Years is a solid release. I appreciate its brevity- four great tracks, no filler. I’d love to hear more from these brave new girls. They can call their songs whatever they want.