The artists formerly known as Aly & AJ, now christened 78Violet, played their first show in five years last night at The Roxy in Los Angeles, and it looks like it went fairly well. Nick Jonas was in attendance! They played some new songs! They appeased old fans by playing “Potential Breakup Song”! They debuted, oddly but sort of ingeniously, a cover of ’90s alt-rock band Filter‘s single “Take A Picture”! It all happened, folks. It all happened.
They bring their newly revamped sound to New York in July, but for now, I’ll gladly settle for some impressively watchable footage from the show, which offers the first full sampling of their debut single “Hothouse.”
So how does it sound? Well, a little dreamy and a little hazy, although the set was pretty stripped-back so it’s hard to tell much about the production; that refrain, though, is as gorgeous as suggested. They also premiered the hooky, melodic “53rd Floor” and a spare, haunting ballad called “Boy” (“I’ll blame your mother / And I’ll blame your father,” yikes). The likely highlights were the lushly acoustic rendition of “Potential Breakup Song,” which turned the swirling neo-New Wave track into a drowsy heartache anthem, and their “Take A Picture” cover, which suits their new sound nicely.
Aly & AJ were always the most curiously mature out of all their teen pop contemporaries, and they’ve grown up into something really great and unusual, somewhere between the hazy alt-pop of Lana Del Rey and the shiny hook-driven sound of Frank + Derol. Get acquainted with their evolved vibe. It’s dope.
“Potential Breakup Song”
“Take A Picture” (Filter cover)