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Standout Track: “Hot and Cold” is the debut track from Mary Timony’s new band, Ex Hex. With its power-pop melodies and crunchy Marquee Moon-like guitars, the song harkens back to “Electric Band,” a primo track from the debut album of Timony’s other group (now on hiatus), Wild Flag. “So hot, so cold/So young, so old,” Timony sings over a midtempo march of glam-rock drums. Since when has a track about indecision sounded so sure of itself?
Musical Motivation: Timony says she derived “Hot and Cold” partly from Tommy James and the Shondells’ 1968 hit, “Crimson and Clover.” But she also extracted inspiration from a shiny new toy: her 1977 Les Paul Special. “I have a new guitar and I’m really psyched about it,” she says. “It just sounds a lot different from my other guitars so all these [new] songs come from that.”
A Simple Plan: Making music with her new bandmates, bassist Betsy Wright and drummer Laura Harris, has driven Timony to become more meticulous, she says. “All the songs [for] this band I’ve worked really hard on arranging the parts, and recording different versions of them, and jamming on them with Laura and Betsy,” she says. “I’ve tried to make it really crafted.” Still, a lo-fi ethos pervades: Ex Hex recorded “Hot and Cold” in Timony’s basement. “I’ve been trying to strip things down, make really simple music,” she says. “That’s my new thing: making things really simple.”
Ex Hex plays Comet Ping Pong Oct. 18. Listen to “Hot and Cold” below.