OJR—the initials of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Oliver John-Rodgers—relocated to Nashville from New York in 2014. After arriving, he soon finished recording the batch of songs he would go on to independently release, in May 2015, as the Nashville Demos: an ambitious full-length collection of fuzzy, indie-rock and singer-songwriter material, self-produced entirely on the Apple software GarageBand.
“Numb,” the album’s single, saw notable success on AAA radio throughout 2016, earning OJR supporting slots for Grace Potter, The Black Angels, Nada Surf, Galactic, and Railroad Earth. OJR kicked off the 2016 festival season with a memorable Non-COMM performance at World Café in Philadelphia. Following a favorable review of the show by David Dye for NPR, summer 2016 quickly became a busy one for OJR, with headlining slots at many of the nation’s leading indie radio stations' summer festivals.
Nashville Demos proved to be OJR's final DIY effort, as he followed that up with his first studio release, 2017’s Acid Cowboy EP: a blend of psych-rock and Americana, tracked to tape at Nashville’s Welcome to 1979 studios.