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