Review: Aly & Aj — Ten Years

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 at 4:28 PM
Review: Aly & Aj — Ten Years by Britton Rozzelle

Rating:★★★☆☆

After eight years performing under the group name, 78Violet, duo Aly and Aj are back with their first new EP, “Ten Years,” a return to form to the group that capitalizes on modern dream pop and alternative music.

Coming off as a response to the musical stylings of Hippo Campus, “Ten Years” is a dreamy, more alternative-than-pop album that plays with modern musical trends (80’s synth, a slight haziness to the vocal track, catchy bridges) while still clearly being made by the same duo that brought us the “Twitches” soundtrack and “Into the Rush.” It’s a personal EP, with lyrics like “As good as it was I just couldn’t take the distance / this heart never grew stronger / distance never grew fonder” on “The Distance,” that play into themes of loss and heartbreak with a more upbeat soundscape.

“Take Me,” the first track released from the EP stands out as a fun and multi-layered radio-friendly song with lyrics that don’t dive as deep as the other songs, while still telling a story of romance. Synth weaves perfectly with the vocals of the sisters, playing off of each harmony. “I Know,” and “Promises” follow suit with the same thing in mind and prove that the “Ten Years” EP feels like the perfect summer album, released four months too late. It’s airy and wild, with synth-pop moments that nail the feeling down and ground it, and being only four songs long it doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Ultimately, “Ten Years” is a positive proof of concept for the group, signaling that there may be more to come in the future along the same vein as this. The new direction, while not completely novel or innovative, is a fresh one that both new and old fans can find themselves in, if only for a moment.

Stand out tracks: “Take Me” and “Promises.” 

Stream the EP below:

Britton Rozzelle is the executive editor for The Spectator. He can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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