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AJR

AJR

New York City-based indie pop trio AJR mix barbershop harmonies, electronic music, and other styles into their eclectic sound. The group debuted to buzz, hitting the Top 40 with the single "I'm Ready" off 2015's Living Room. Along with 2017's The Click, they have continually landed in the Top 40 of the Billboard 200 with records such as 2019's Neotheater and 2021's OK ORCHESTRA, both of which also topped the Independent Albums chart. Following their signing to Mercury Records, they released their fifth album, 2023's The Maybe Man, which again reached the upper echelon of the Billboard 200 and Top Alternative Albums charts.

Formed in 2005, AJR features the talents of the Met brothers, Adam (vocals/bass), Jack (vocals/guitar), and Ryan (guitar/piano/vocals). They grew up in New York and got their start busking around the city, covering songs by such bands as Fun., Vampire Weekend, and the Beach Boys. A link to one of the group's videos caught the ear of Australian pop singer Sia Furler, whose manager put the band in contact with former Columbia president Steve Greenberg. Greenberg then signed on as AJR's manager, and in 2013 the trio released their debut independent single, "I'm Ready." Well-received, the track peaked at number 27 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart and appeared on an initial EP as well as the band's 2015 full-length debut album Living Room.

The single "Weak" followed in 2016, reaching number eight on the U.S. Billboard Dance Club chart and achieving platinum status. It was included on AJR's sophomore full-length, 2017's The Click, which also featured the single "Drama" and the track "Sober Up" with Weezer's Rivers Cuomo. An expanded deluxe edition of The Click arrived in 2018. The following year, the brothers delivered the bouncy "100 Bad Days" single. "Birthday Party" appeared in March 2019, and both tracks were included on their third LP, Neotheater, which reached number eight on the Billboard 200 and hit number one on the Independent Albums chart.

AJR spent much of the year touring and eventually returned in 2020 with the bombastic pop single "Bang!" The trio continued to work on their fourth studio album throughout the year, utilizing the strange social and personal effects of the 2020 pandemic to create a more ambitious and experimental release than they had recorded before. The resulting OK ORCHESTRA, was issued at the beginning of 2021, preceded by the introspective single "My Play." The album hit number ten on the Billboard 200 and became their second consecutive number one on the Independent Albums chart. More tracks followed, including 2021's "Record Player" (with Daisy the Great) and 2022's "I Won't," the latter their first for Mercury.

In early 2023, AJR guested on Quinn XCII's song "Too Late," which was followed by "The Dumb Song," from their major-label debut. Released in November 2023, The Maybe Man also included the song "God Is Really Real," which was dedicated to the siblings' father, Gary Metzger, who had died that July following a terminal illness. The album became their third consecutive release to hit the Billboard 200, peaking at 28. ~ Matt Collar

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