Often described as an indie pop or electro band, the members of AJR perform in a number of different genres, which makes them hard to pin down. As well as their work with electric guitars and keyboards, the band will frequently make use of effects such as doo-wop vocal harmonies, for example. The band is composed of three brothers, named Adam, Jack and Ryan, hence the band's name. They were born and raised in Manhattan, New York City. The three brothers write, arrange and often record their material together at home. During the band's formative years, Adam – the oldest of the brothers, who was born in 1990 – studied constitutional law at New York University. Ryan and Jack, born in 1994 and 1997 respectively, took a course in film at Columbia University.
AJR's early career: viral single propels band into charts
Initially, the band were a busking outfit that would perform cover versions of songs by established artists, such as Simon & Garfunkel or the Beach Boys. Increasingly, the three would incorporate more contemporary artists such as Vampire Weekend or Kanye West into their act, which would usually be seen in Central Park, New York City. Around this time, the band self-released a couple of EPs, Born and Bred and Venture, which showcased both their musical and lyrical talents.
In 2013, the trio came to the attention of Columbia Records, following a video of their song "I'm Ready" going viral online. It featured a catchy sample from the cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants. The single went to number five in the Australian charts and number 65 in America. With an official video released to promote it, the song would ultimately reach platinum status. An EP of the same name was hastily launched, although the brothers had planned to call this work something else.
AJR's live work and later releases
Having gained mainstream success, the trio were invited to open shows for some high-profile acts in the US. Demi Lovato, the Vamps, Fifth Harmony and Hoodie Allen have all taken to the stage following support slots by AJR. The band has also opened shows for the likes of Lindsey Stirling and Ingrid Michaelson. The Wanted, Train and American Authors have also booked AJR to act in a supporting capacity, such is their wide appeal to a number of different fan bases.
In 2015, AJR put out their debut studio album, Living Room. It reached number 20 in the US Heatseekers chart. It was followed by an EP named Infinity. A second album, the Click, came out in 2016, and featured the gold-selling song, "Weak".