ABC Music News

AJR tries to contend with the "unprecedented-ness and emotion" of COVID-19 pandemic with new music

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Credit: Shervin Lainez

This week, AJR dropped a new single called “Bummerland.” It’s the first fresh track from the brother trio since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and the first preview of the new batch of material they’ve been working on while in quarantine.

Speaking to ABC Audio, AJR’s Jack Met says that life in lockdown has forced the band to tinker with their usual writing process.

“I guess every song that we’ve put out has not come from sitting down in the studio and saying, ‘What are we gonna write about today?'” Jack explains. “It’s come from doing our normal daily routine — walking down the street and going to get food and whatever — and then an idea kinda pops in and we have to rush home and write about it.”

He adds, “But now, since we’re staying inside with nothing to do but write, we have to sit down at…10 a.m. and say, ‘Alright, let’s come up with ideas for today!'”

“Bummerland” doesn’t mention the pandemic specifically, but appears to reference it with lines such as “Bummerland/Here I am/Better nix my summer plans.”

While Jack feels that the new songs are inspired by the “unprecedented-ness and emotion of this situation,” “Bummerland” still carries a note of positivity — the chorus closes with the line “You’re only going up from here.”

“There’s some great quote… [that goes] ‘The world is a messed up place, and the easiest art to make is saying, ‘The world is so messed up!”” says band member Ryan Met. “But the more interesting art is, ‘Hey guys, we know the world is a messed up place, but here’s how to look at it a little bit differently.'”

“I think that’s the art we try to make,” he adds. 

By Josh Johnson
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