Mary Timony Ex Hex

Mary Timony’s been just prolific enough in her career that she hasn’t fallen off the radar entirely. But with a new label, Lookout!, and as this new record suggests, a new zest for songwriting, we can sure hope things get back on track for indie rock’s poster girl. After jumping ship from Matador, where most of her records were released under both Helium and her name, she seems to have left something with her old label. Produced by Fugazi’s Brendan Canty, Ex Hex, her third solo album proper, feels unlike any other record in her catalogue. Gone are the medieval forays into the mystical realm of prog-folk, and in their place are direct and practically accessible indie-centric pop songs. That isn’t to say she’s pulled a Liz Phair; quite the opposite actually. Ex Hex finds Timony’s trading in her lyrical wordplay about hobbits and unicorns for some rather playful and often cute lyrics. As well, her unique signature guitar style steps up for some true rock riffs with her fingers slithering around the fret board before she hits that power chord. "Hard Times Are Hard!” encapsulates this perfectly as she weaves and bobs with her axe while drummer and co-songwriter on half the album, Devin O’Campo, gives her a rhythm section. She may not have topped The Dirt of Luck this time around, but Ex Hex proves that when Mary Timony wants to, she can dazzle you with her any one of the weapons in her sweet arsenal. (Lookout!)