Former Disney darlings Aly & AJ have been away from music for 10 years now, which the LA-based sister duo says was important for their creative growth. "If you’re not living life, you can’t write great music," Aly & AJ told OUT, reflecting on a decade that's informed their comeback EP, Ten Years, out today.
The four-track project led with single, "Take Me," introducing a newly mature sound that leans heavily on '80s production. Drenched in synths and drum machines, Ten Years is bright, but not bubblegum, dipping into a more somber pocket of pop nostalgia—think M83's Hurry Up, We're Dreaming matched with the smart, relatable lyricism Aly & AJ do best.
On "I Know," the sisters sing about friendship above an easy, effortless groove. "I know you know who's gonna pick you up," they assure on the chorus. "Promises" edges into darker storytelling, as Aly & AJ address the concern that someone's cheating. "Must be someone here, it's my worst fear," the two softly sing above a dreamy, droning soundscape. The project's highlight, "The Distance," is a climactic closer, both for Ten Years and a dysfunctional relationship. "I just couldn't take the distance," they conclude, self-assured and defiant.
"We’ve never felt like the music we make is right down the middle," Aly & AJ told OUT. "I don’t think we’ve ever made straight up glossy pop. It has always been a bit weird in its format [...] Right now, we’re feeling the most confident and focused we’ve ever been."
Stream Aly & AJ's triumphant Ten Years, below.