Video: TWO, ‘In This Rough’


TWO, the new duo project from Aja Volkman and Dan Epand (who were two-thirds of the indie-rock band Nico Vega), announced their rising last month with the single “Phoenix.”

They return today with the explosive, cathartic single “In the Rough,” which finds singer Volkman going from emotion-damaged to full-throttle as she seeks to off-load some darkness.

“I went through some dark times trying to find the kind of surrender that is expressed in this song,” she says. “What did pain teach me? It taught me that true relief comes from letting go. Pain is the resistance to letting go, for the actual letting go is painless. What is beyond the pain is more simple. It’s stillness. And that is the core challenge of life. To learn to let go of everything. For we have no other choice. This experience is temporary. And when you achieve letting go, when you loosen your grip, peace is found.”

As for the video, which Epand directed, it lets Volkman shout it from the rooftops.

“This song originally came from a place of personal agony, but the energy behind this video was definitely more a reaction to two months bottled up in quarantine,” she says via social media. “We are in a twilight zone reality and it is so easy (and natural) to focus on all the negative parts of this ‘new normal.’ But in day-to-day life, in some ways, it feels like there is so much more humanity as people take the time to talk to both friends and family and even strangers they are walking past on the street. Smiles are felt, even if not seen behind facemasks.

“We would never have pulled off this video at any other time in history. I could never have convinced all these neighbors to let us use their rooftops, nor would they have said yes! This video is meant to be a celebration of friends, of family, of community. And a reminder that concerts can still happen if we are creative — and people are generous with their rooftops.”

TWO’s debut EP, “Pull the Knife Out,” will be released July 17.

||| Previously: “Phoenix”