The Wicked is a duo comprised of musicians Janele Mystique (18) and Nick Janowicz (16). Their debut full-length album “Never Trust The Dead” is due out August 9th via SwitchBitch Records. This genre-defying 10-track collection presents unique blend of inspiration, citing influences from The Dresden Dolls, Panic at the Disco to Foxy Shazam. Check out their exclusive track-by-track of the album.

Overture: The opening track to the record was a very big deal to The Wicked as a whole. We wanted to lure whoever may be listening to our record with the first song. I had been playing around with an eerie little guitar part for a while that was to be the perfect fit for the first track. When we went into the studio to record the song, I told the producer to set me up with my guitar, and that we would do the first take that I played. That is what is on the record now. Mistakes and all.

Time To Kill: This track is where the listener will end up coming out of Shit Bugs. Our hope is that they will be hooked and ready to listen to more at this point. Time To Kill is a very important song to us and it is one of our favorites. We think that it truly describes our sound. It has lots of gross and crashing hits, but a hooky chorus to make the song enjoyable.

Blue: Blue was one of the very first songs The Wicked wrote together. The idea was that it should be simple. The same progression is repeated throughout the entire song. It also shows off our acoustic style of playing. Although most of the record has full instrumentation, The Wicked is still an acoustic duo and plays shows that way. This is a stripped down tune, which gives listeners a chance to prepare for the heavy hitting songs on the rest of the record.

Funeral Etiquette: This is one of my favorite songs on the record. Nothing The Wicked has ever written has sounded this grimy and dirty. The verses are clunky and gross but flow into a smooth and light chorus.

Nightmares: Janele came to practice with idea and basis for Nightmares. She wanted the piano to sound heavy, but at the same time resolve to a light touch. We took the song to our producer and made the song just that. Heavy Heavy Heavy.

Bad: Bad is usually the song that we stick at the front or back of our set. It is fast paced for the most part, but breaks down into a clanky and quirky bridge section. We love the end because it is really big and exciting. It keeps building tension until the song runs out of control.

Elevator: Elevator is the strongest song on the record by far. Janele wrote it about a year ago and played around with some ideas for it for a while. When she brought it to The Wicked, I wrote the piano for it. This is one of the songs that Janele and I switch instruments for. I wanted hits that broke up the song, hence, the smashing pianos. When we brought it to the studio, we brought our friend along to do some horns with us. The horns are my favorite part about Elevator.

Little Ghost: Little Ghost was a song that was written about two years ago, before The Wicked was even a band. I had written this bouncy cabaret chord progression that we would turn into Little Ghost. We put the song down for a while because we weren’t to stoked on the arrangement. When it came time to record, we wanted to include it again. Our producer helped us out with arranging a lot of this song, because when we brought it to him, it was in bits and pieces of a song.

The Disease: The Disease was a song written primarily by Janele. It is fast paced and quick, almost like a punch in the face. Our producer did a great job with introduction adding some banjo and crickets to set a mood.

Granny’s House: Granny’s House is actually the first song I ever wrote as a musician. We had played it in a band previous to The Wicked and put it down when we started new projects. I love the fact that it closes out the record because it is a very resolving sort of song. This is the second acoustic song on the record that really shows who The Wicked is. It is the bookend to “Never Trust The Dead”

Written by Catherine Powell