An alt country band formed in 2006 in Raleigh North Carolina, American Aquarium spent their first few years touring with occasional time set aside to record, producing two self released albums before 2010.
By 2012 American Aquarium had decided to end things as a band, planning one final album. Burn.Flicker.Die was produced by Jason Isbell, and was far more popular and critically acclaimed than their earlier releases. Barham says about the album: “It’s kind of ironic that the record about not making it is the record that helped us make it.” The band decided to remain together given this success.
It became clear in 2017 that American Aquarium was a band organized around the music of BJ Barham when he announced that the band would cease to exist in its current form. Soon Barham announced a new lineup and went to work on a new album.
Lamentations finally came in 2020 after a midstream switch to producer Shooter Jennings triggered a move on the recording from Memphis to LA. Since then Barham and the band have been busy, releasing three albums in the last two years.
Two of those are inspired by pandemic streaming sessions Barham hosted and consist of country music covers and the most recent is an album of new material. Named for the now abandoned lifesaving station on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Chicamacomico has received positive reviews since its release earlier this year. Barham says that “Chicamacomico sounds like nothing we’ve ever done, yet it sits comfortably amongst the rest of our catalog”.