Aly & AJ, loved by millennials since their Disney days, are back on the road with a new sound

Aly and AJ Michalka – also known as Aly & AJ – are out with a fresh sound on their latest album, “With Love From.” The sisters used an echo chamber to process the vocals, marking a shift for the former Disney stars as they explore new musical territory.

“It feels like an exodus. I mean, it feels like we’re getting a second chance at our music careers,” AJ told CBS News.

A fresh tour coincides with the release of their new album this week, a chance for the duo – now in their early 30s – to connect with fans who were younger when they started. Discovered his music for the first time.

Ellie was 15 and AJ was 13 when they signed to Disney’s Hollywood Records label in 2004. During the audition, he performed six original acoustic guitar tracks written in his bedroom while sitting on the floor, AJ said.

They rose to fame as pop stars and became teen idols thanks to hits like “Possible Breakup Song” and their roles in the Disney film “Cowbells.”

He said that throughout his growing career, he was always steadfast.

“We were still brave enough to just raise our hands and … [ask]’Can we do this?’ And, I think I’m sure at some point it drove people crazy … but I think at the end of the day, though, people knew we really cared,” Alley said.

After all, they wanted change. In an effort to distance themselves from their Disney-like image, they changed their band name to 78Violet in 2009. But his music career declined, and two albums were discontinued.

“To be completely honest, I think we were trying to figure out what our voice was as grown women,” Ellie said.

AJ called it “a bit of an identity crisis”. For a decade, the sisters remained musically silent while continuing to act.

Then, they recorded the song “Beautiful Places”.

“I think that song is the one that totally brought us back to who we are,” AJ said.

That wasn’t the only thing that brought the sisters back into the spotlight. After “Possible Breakup Song” gained popularity on the social media app TikTok, Aly and AJ recorded a new version with a more mature sound.

“In our early twenties, if you said, ‘Hey, would you sing?’ We’d be like — roll our eyes,” Ally said. “And we improved it in this new way. So, it’s really cool.”

Aly & AJ performed at two major music festivals, Lollapalooza in 2021 and Austin City Limits in 2022. They faced a terrifying moment when their tour bus got caught in the crossfire. Mass shooting last year in Sacramento, where six people were killed and several injured. He said that he was not injured but shell casings were found in his trailer.

The shooting inspired him to write a song about the incident as a way to heal, though he’s not sure he’ll ever release it.

Aly & AJ are hitting the road again this month, leaving their Disney days even further behind. His sibling remains his individuality as well as his superpower.

“We think weirdly for each other. So, I’m just like, ‘AJ would agree to this.’ So, I’m speaking for her, and she’s going to do the right thing for me,” Eli said.

“It’s true,” AJ said. “And then sometimes, we have to be like that, but let’s respect each other.”

“And that there’s still individuality here,” Eli said.

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