Ex Hex – “Cosmic Cave”

Last year, Ex Hex teased their imminent return on Instagram. We knew it wasn’t going to happen overnight, especially in the middle of bassist Betsy Wright’s Bat Fangs album cycle, but that was a year ago. And besides 2015’s one-off cover of the Real Kids “All Kindsa Girls,” we haven’t heard new Ex Hex since 2014’s excellent debut Rips. Today, the D.C. trio are officially back to announce their sophomore LP, It’s Real — out 3/22 via Merge — with lead single “Cosmic Cave” and a batch of upcoming North American/UK tour dates.

I can’t listen to Ex Hex without thinking about the Hex Girls from Scooby-Doo and their witchy glitter glam. Mary Timony’s power pop is so sugary and reckless. And she writes love songs in the same way the Ramones did, hooky and direct, clawing at love with loud, adolescent abandon.

“Cosmic Cave” is crisp riffage, an alluring hook, and it wouldn’t be Ex Hex without a few “whoa ohs.” Produced by Rips engineer Jonah Takagi, the song presents a fuller, more three-dimensional sound alongside dreamy, bittersweet lyrics. Listen below and check out the entire tracklist.

TRACKLIST:
01 “Tough Enough”
02 “Rainbow Shiner”
03 “Good Times”
04 “Want It to Be True”
05 “Diamond Drive”
06 “No Reflection”
07 “Another Dimension”
08 “Cosmic Cave”
09 “Radiate”
10 “Talk to Me”

TOUR DATES:
04/02 Richmond, VA @ Richmond Music Hall*
04/03 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer*
04/04 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom*
04/05 Portsmouth, NH @ The Press Room*
04/06 Montreal, QC @ l’Escogriffe*
04/07 Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern*
04/09 Ferndale, MI @ Loving Touch*
04/10 Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall*
04/11 Madison, WI @ High Noon*
04/12 Minneapolis, MN @ Turf Club*
04/13 Omaha, NE @ Reverb*
04/15 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre*
04/17 Boise, ID @ Neurolux^
04/18 Portland, OR @ Aladdin^
04/19 Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore^
04/20 Seattle, WA @ Crocodile^
04/23 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall^
04/24 Fresno, CA @ Strummer’s^
04/25 Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom^
04/26 Tustin, CA @ Marty’s on Newport^
04/27 Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge^
04/28 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress^
04/30 Austin, TX @ Barracuda^
05/01 Dallas, TX @ Curtain Club^
05/03 Nashville, TN @ Exit/In^
05/04 Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle^
05/05 Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle^
05/09 Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere^
05/10 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club%
05/24 Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social
05/25 Manchester, UK @ Deaf Institute
05/27 Bristol, UK @ The Exchange
05/28 London, UK @ Village Underground
* w/ Moaning
^ w/ Feels
% w/ The Massthetics

It’s Real is out 3/22 via Merge. Pre-order it here.

CREDIT: Michael Lavine