a.j. rosales

a.j. rosales


AJ Rosales conveys a complex yet accessible musical persona that is mysteriously endearing. His music evokes an array of artistic integrities - an effervescent breath of modern pop, lyrical imagery with poetic twinges, and honest rock-n-roll angst - all intricately wrapped in accessible melodies.


AJ to perform during SXSW 2008! Check my calendar for details. Thanks to Tinderbox Music in Minneapolis.

New album "Ultramarine" went to college radio in the summer of 2007 and recieved lots of rotation! To view radio results go here:


Ultramarine is the new 13 song studio release by AJ that has been in the making for almost a year. In his evolution as a musician and songwriter, he wanted to try to make an album that would highlight his creative skill as a guitar player but branch out and move away stylistically from his previous acoustic-based release, Resistor. After much success with that intimate album, he decided to try to gather up a couple of pro musicians and make this album more visceral and more of an experience.

Featuring Shawn Sommer (once again) on bass, with Lucas Farran (drums) and a guest slot for Alison Chesley (cello) this album rocks a little harder - but stays true to the spirit of his previous releases, with a mix of upbeat numbers and a few intimate acoustic tracks. AJ meticulously produced and arranged the entire record in an effort to ensure that that his overall vision was not lost in translation. It was recorded at Chicago indie boutique Gravity Studios by engineering wizard Mark Berlin, and then mixed and mastered by studio head Doug McBride - who not only called this record "a really strong album" but also says that it's representative of some of his best work as a mixer.

Although this album is dynamic and experimental, and there are a number of different sonic environments on this album, it still manages to retain a consistent vibe. Songs like Alone Again and Nominate capture a vibrant rock sound while songs such as White Sunshine and What's with all the Heartache? utilize an artistic folk-rock sound that captures his subtly emotive lyrics and vocals perfectly. The album also features two instrumentals - 3:15 (which delves into math rock) and Telekinetic (which is somewhat of an extension of the song Transistor from Resistor)

All in all, this is easily AJ's most well rounded and well thought-out record yet. It's a must if you've enjoyed any of his past musical forays!

Buy the new album at:





A.J. Rosales is not trying to prove anything. His appealingly layered guitar playing and honest lyrics are just the pure expression of a unique musical vision, not some calculated product.

Rosales is already an acknowledged force in the rock/folk scene. His intelligent songwriting, which draws as much from pop as from jazz, classical, rock, jam, and folk, has been the basis for three well-received albums in his eight-year solo career. Fatigue, in 1997, introduced his intricate guitar lines, interwoven with intimate lyrics. His Earth and Shoal EP in 2001 added a maturity and depth of experience. With 2004's Resistor, Rosales' songwriting gained even greater resonance. Fueled by critical praise and airplay on hundreds of radio stations, Rosales reached out to fans nationwide. As an artist, he is poised for a major breakthrough, and it all builds from experience.

Rosales has been playing guitar since his mid-teens. By his own admission, he was "somewhat of a nerd who gravitated toward the more abstract and technically challenging pieces." His early affinity for complex musical structure is evident in his playing style, which blends catchy pop hooks with some unexpected musical flourishes. Rosales describes his style as "rock music run through an avant garde folk filter," but it's easy to hear a vast array of other, subtler influences underscoring his take on folk and rock. His extensive background in classical music and jazz can be heard in his intricate, contrapuntal arrangements. His guitar work conjures ghosts of the blues and invokes modern masters of high technical ability. Listening to Rosales alternately calls to mind Trey Anastasio, Ellis Paul, Collective Soul and Adam Duritz with all of their varied and inherent skills.

But a virtuosic delivery is not Rosales' only musical accomplishment . . . His music has garnered broad attention. The single Sweetest Thing from Earth and Shoal was included on CMJ's "Certain Damage" CD and was featured on National Public Radio in Chicago. Initially, this release edged out Smashing Pumpkins for the top spot in Ohio's WMRU radio play rotation. Fervent fan support has landed three singles from Resistor in the Top 10 on Garageband.com's survey of the "best guitars of all time" in the folk/rock genre.

But being a "guitar pyrotechnician" is not what he's about, and being the next pop idol is also not at the top of his list. He's all about recording his lush, rootsy music, brilliant and humble. And there is no doubt he has all the talent to back it up.

- Trevor Plum


INCLUDED: on mvyradio.com's "Fre


White Sunshine

Written By: AJ Rosales

There's nothing more to say,
and it feels like I'm so far away from you.
I wish I could explain -
but I really think there's nothing left to prove.

But in white sunshine,
you can leave it all behind.
And you've got to find a reason
to keep it all inside.

You speak about the untold truth.
With every word you said I would agree.
I'm just a love muse.
My mind is on the run - so set me free.

But in white sunshine,
you can leave it all behind.
and you've got to find a reason
to keep it all inside...

So come nighttime,
will nothing ever come between us?
In broad daylight -
will I bring everything you need love?


Written By: AJ Rosales

In my dreams you still come around
You're floating as your feet lift off the ground
I can see you fly straight into the sun
I guess Icarus was not the only one who could take it all the way....
When will we do the same?

Flap your wings but still fall into the sea
It's bittersweet below ultramarine
And so you sink into the deep just like Cousteau.
You know there's only so far he would dare to go.
So can you go down all the way?
When will we do the same?

Or will you reach the highest plane?
When will we do the same?

Alone Again

Written By: AJ Rosales

Suddenly, I've become aware
That you're breaking my heart
So when will you start to care?
And I never was prepared
For the words that you wrote
Which ones should I quote?
"I think I'd like to be alone again"

But every day I'm in your throe
You're moving so fast when I'm used to taking it slow
But does anybody know
Why you're such a freak
And my interest is piqued
Will I end up alone again?

I read you loud and clear
You can be so cavalier
Why don't you shed your skin
Most change come from within
It would be so apropos
For you to find repose
So I'll just lie back and wait
For you to transubstantiate yourself

But oh my God
here we go again
You're using your charms
it can't be coincidence
So I'll use my self defense
'cause you're letting go
I'm losing control
Now I'm alone again...

Sneak Attack

Written By: AJ Rosales

you leave with no trace and I come unglued
but at close range what else can I do?
maybe I'll turn to the comfort of friends
and block it out of my consciousness

out of the black, into the blue
just relax and feel the groove
time into the future slips
while memories are misconstrued
when sanity comes creeping back
you move right in for the sneak attack

your actions speak through your silent lips
my love for you has been eclipsed
the short blue flames they dither and dance
in an altered state of your visceral trance

in effigy you rise again
I'm withering to your chagrin
an endless tear now rolls away
I play my tiny violin
when sanity comes creeping back
you move right in for the sneak attack


2007 - Ultramarine LP
2004 - Resistor LP
2001 - Earth and Shoal EP
1997 - Fatigue LP (Fronting the band 'Daughter Product')

Set List

typically I play a 45-60 min set with all original material except for a cover thrown in for a crowd pleaser...