AJR Return With Rebellious, Anti-Conformity Anthem ‘I Won’t’

·2 min read
AJR - Photo: Shervin Lainez (Courtesy of Republic Records)
AJR - Photo: Shervin Lainez (Courtesy of Republic Records)

AJR have returned with their latest single “I Won’t” released in collaboration with AJR Productions and Mercury/Republic Records. The upbeat pop track marks the platinum-selling trio’s first single release since last year’s “Way Less Sad.”

“We’re trying to dial in on exactly how we felt about the world,” Ryan notes. “We were fed up with authority, so we wrote our own version of a punk ‘F-you’ song.”

“I Won’t” finds the three AJR brothers –Ryan, Adam, and Jack Met – explicitly rejecting conformity in the age of social media. On the piano-driven track, the group chants: “Put your hands up, ‘cause I won’t. Raise a glass up, ‘cause I won’t. Get your a-- up, ‘cause I won’t. I must’ve missed the hype, but maybe that’s the way I feel.”

Speaking about the conceptual approach to the record, Ryan explained: “We found an interesting way to frame it. You’re at a party, and this DJ is telling you how to live, but you’ve had enough. In our political climate and within the landscape of social media, everything is marketing and branding yourself to fit into a political or TikTok trend. It gets exhausting.”

He continued: “You lose yourself in fitting into a subsection of culture. In our show and our music, we’re about figuring out what makes you unique. The message is, ‘Be yourself.’ However, we know it’s much easier said than done. We wanted to make a song that inspired others, but also ourselves to be who we are.”

AJR recently wrapped a sold out North American tour supporting their latest album OK Orchestra, shared last year with the lead singles “Way Less Sad,” “My Play,” “Bummerland,” and “Bang!”

Musical theater was our first love,” Ryan told Alternative Press last year. “We can’t seem to escape it, and with each album, we lean more and more into that. We test the waters. Like, “OK, we’re playing at our tours, and these guys in their 20s and 30s are coming to our shows singing pretty musical theater-inspired songs. How much can we get away with this?” That’s fun for us. I think OK ORCHESTRA is the best example of that.”

Stream or purchase “I Won’t.”

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