“We’re back from the dead!” Singer AJ Michalka announces. Sisters Aly and AJ Michalka are preparing to celebrate Halloween in Vancouver as I chat with them. They are both dressing up as cats, which might not sound too impressive at first but the girls convince me they will make it cute. Former Disney Channel darlings, the duo have recently made a triumphant return to music after a ten-year hiatus with a new single “Take Me” and their dedicated fan base could not have responded any better.
“It feels so great to know that the single is doing as well as it is, pretty much independently,” AJ says. The girls pride themselves on releasing their new music on their own without a major label, but of course, with the help of a great team. “It’s been pretty DIY. I’m just really happy that people still care after ten years,” she says. Her sister chimes in with, “I think our souls would’ve been crushed if we didn’t have the positive response we’ve gotten.”
The track introduces a funky 80’s vibe that is new for Aly & AJ, offering a fresh sound that is admittedly atypical for the pair. “Due to the production and the power of the chorus, there is something about the song that makes it a less typical pop single but it’s interesting and a little different Aly and I,” AJ explains. She adds that it was pretty much a no-brainer when it came to selecting the song that would reintroduce them into the music scene as their original moniker, Aly & AJ. In the interim between their sophomore album Insomniatic in 2007 and 2017, the sisters were releasing music under the band name 78violet. When deciding to reemerge on the music scene, the girls knew they had to drop the alias and return to their roots.
“We love a lot of specifically male-fronted bands, so we always wanted to have a band name that wasn’t our actual names,” Aly says. “But, it ended up not being our path and that’s okay. These are our names so we thought, ‘why not just embrace them?’”
The edgy new music video released from Aly & AJ for their single “Take Me” was directed by Alex Ross Perry, someone the girls were fans of due to his work on a music video for the band Sleigh Bells. “Aly had this idea for months. She wanted to do something with an 80’s, vampires, lost boys but girls vibe,” AJ says. As fans of Perry’s, the girls direct messaged him via Instagram and proposed they collaborate. “It was the most millennial business connection, ever,” Aly decides.
“But, the funny thing is that the band Sleigh Bells reached out to him in the exact same way!” The video portrays Aly and AJ in a super retro light and is decidedly different from the last video they released for their 2007 hit “Potential Break-Up Song.”
“We were like, 16 and 18 years old in that video,” AJ says. “So, when we showed our parents the new video, we didn’t know how they would respond.” The two giggle through the story of how their mom surprisingly loved the video and from the lack of response from their dad, they knew they had gone in the right direction. “For musicians out there, if your dad doesn’t really approve of your video or song, you’re probably heading in the right direction,” AJ suggests. Watch the bewitching dad-disapproved video for “Take Me” below.
Aly & AJ will be releasing an EP on November 17th and fans should keep an eye out for a full-length album to come in 2018. Listen to the duo’s second single off their EP called, “I Know” below.