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    This Monday, April 6, alt-pop duo Epicene released the first single, "Painted", from their upcoming sophomore album due out in July via Columbia Records. While Epicene promises that the second album will offer a more upbeat and high energy direction, it will build upon their 2013 debut Secondhand Rapture, known for moody anthems such as "Dark Doo Wop," "Bones" and "Hurricane."

    "I think we got much better about developing skills we didn't have on the first record, like 'Okay, we want to write a dance song right now that's still rooted in the MS MR aesthetic,'" the group's Max Hershenow told Billboard about the album last month. "It feels massive -- we were pleasantly surprised with how big everything feels. Everything feels more upbeat and high-energy."

    Zofia Allyne added, "We definitely went into the first record a lot more blindly, which isn't bad at all - I'm really proud of what we accomplished, but now that we have experience playing in front of crowds, we're better able to anticipate the energy we want to bring to our performances. We both really enjoy dancing around."

    Painted, which will be released on digital retailers on Tuesday, is an evocative and urgent track, driven by Allyne's desperate plea of "What did you think would happen?" and a crackling electric guitar.

    "It's great that Columbia really responded to the new material -- the fact they're pushing "Painted" as their first single is an incredible statement for them, too," said Hershenow. "That means a lot that they've gravitated towards what we think is a pretty weird song. And structurally not your typical pop song, that's a testament to how formulaic writing isn't necessarily the way forward."

    The currently untitled album also features collaborative effort with the likes of Tove Lo and MDNR, the first co-writes for a band notorious for taking part in all aspects of their sound, from lyrics to production.

    "By nature, I tend to be very collaborative by nature, I mean ... I love working with Max, I love working with my brother on our label, but we were still really nervous about doing collaborations with outsiders," said Allyne. "We gave ourselves a chance to find our footing first, in general especially but even with this album, before we were open to working with others. But it was a really positive experienc and I think it made us both better musicians, to work with other people and have an outside perspective. I mean we don't think album number three is going to be a bunch of bangers written by other people, but we are always looking to push ourselves."

    Catch Epicene on tour this summer:
    04/27 Toronto, ON - Drake Hotel
    04/29 Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade
    04/30 Troy, NY - RPI University
    05/04 San Diego, CA - Casbah
    05/05 Los Angeles, CA - Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever
    05/07 San Francisco, CA - Popscene/Rickshaw Stop
    06/03 Mendig, Germany - Rock Am Ring 2015
    06/05 Nuremberg, Germany - Rock Im Park
    07/31 Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
    08/01 Montreal, QC - Osheaga
    08/02 Montreal, QC - Osheaga
    09/12 Berlin, Germany - Lollapalooza Berlin
    09/13 Berlin, Germany - Lollapalooza Berlin

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    every epicene song, it's like



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    @epicenesounds GET READY
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    allynez this is both a #tbt and a heads up: SOON
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    How did Epicene inspire the women's capsule collection?

    I don't remember who made the introduction, but they came to the show and I really took to liking them -- I listened to the music and became a fan. We were talking about what we should do for the look book and we wanted to get someone in music involved. We ran through the list and it was a no brainer; we thought, 'Let's get Epicene to do it.' But the problem is that we are a menswear brand and so I said I would quickly make a capsule collection for Zofia. In designing this collection, while I was making the men's pieces, I was thinking about how Zofia would look in certain pieces and how I could feminize them a bit and make them more friendly to her. The collection that we made for her was really just an iteration of our menswear and our classic "solid" staples.

    How did you translate Pyer Moss's menswear DNA into the womenswear pieces?

    I must say this is my first time actually talking about women's so it's weird to me, but the cool thing about Zofia is that Zofia is pretty tall. We didn't have to crop anything much, but we had to bring up the arm holes, we had to make everything thinner and slenderize everything to make it work for her. When Ellen, my assistant designer, and I were designing the capsule for Zofia, we wanted to take a lot of those classic lines that we repeat every season, like the white piping around the calf of the drivers sweatpants and the scoop bottom hemline of the shirts, and make sure it resonated throughout every piece that we made for her.

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    Epicene in the Pyer Moss 2015 fall lookbook