A Touch of the Beat Gets You Up on Your Feet Gets You Out and Then Into the Sun… but make it deluxe. On Friday, Aly and AJ released four additional songs on the refreshed version of their sun-kissed album originally released last year.
Included on the tracklist are songs such as “Am I Alright,” “Get Over Here,” and “Way Way Back,” the last of which Aly and AJ say was a challenge to write. “It’s a song that’s been in the works for quite some time and we finally found the right way to tell this story lyrically,” the Michalka sisters tell Rolling Stone.
But perhaps the most personal lyrics come with “Dead on the Beach,” written by AJ and Josh Pence, who’s also featured on the song. Backed by a simple guitar, AJ opens the track singing, “Dead on the beach, you’re on your phone/I only see my mother’s face alone/I’m calling out your name, help me.”
Sung without Aly, the track became a form of therapy for AJ after a scary incident. “I decided to write about a near-death experience that happened to me over the summer of 2020 and this song was a way for me to cope with the aftermath,” AJ says. Aly and AJ told Vanity Fair they’re doing more solo work these days. “We don’t have to always be attached to the hip in every single moment or image,” Aly told the outlet.
Now, with all 16 tracks on the record, the sister duo has begun working on their next album. It’s those fan responses to songs such as “Slow Dancing” and “Pretty Places” that have “given us this wonderful confidence to continue to make the kind of music we want to make, our way,” the duo says.
The deluxe album comes several months before they’re set to go on tour and perform at festivals such as Governor’s Ball and Bottle Rock. “It’s been over two years since we’ve been on a tour bus, and we’ve really missed being rocked to sleep at night,” the pair says. “Get up on your feet and get your ass to a show!”