Remember when I wrote about music? I do, sort of. Over a year ago I wrote about how much Mary Timony’s album, The Golden Dove, means to me. (If you scroll down, like, 2 posts, you can read that. That is about how frequently I blog.) Since then, I’ve started a new job and taken an island vacation and gotten the cat mask Mary wears on the album cover tattooed on my arm as an important charm against bad things and Mary has gotten together with a new band called Ex Hex and they’ve put out this album called Rips and I’m here to tell you that Rips is like the Seconds of Pleasure of our time, except better.
Like, there are these certain ambling dudely rock songs that I love to listen to, especially when I’m in the car. So, you know, “Girls Talk” by Dave Edmunds, “Madison Avenue Man” by Greg Kihn, “So It Goes” by Nick Lowe, and Rips is just The Modern Woman’s Answer To All Of That. Every song on Rips is a two-minute drill down a football field that ends with Mary Timony throwing a touchdown pass.
I think a lot about the emotions that music invokes in me. What I’ve appreciated about a lot of Mary’s previous songwriting is how specific and insular it is and, how through that specificity, I somehow am able to find my own experiences. Rips is something else. Rips is wild and extroverted and celebratory. Rips is, like, hedonistic, but in this way that really pays with/plays homage to rock and power pop. I love how smart this album is – how good the hooks are, how (at it’s best) it’s like “Fox on the Run” reborn and made better, but I also love how making this kind of record is like making a different space for yourself in the world.
The Golden Dove is always going to be my favorite Mary Timony joint and it’s always going to evoke a very particular set of feelings from me that are empowering in a very specific context, but Rips is doing something different. Something equally valuable. Rips is balancing joy and frenetic energy, Rips is negotiating the internal and the external. Rips is totally a cool older sister – mystery and wisdom and excitement all bound up in this package that makes you think, “Someday I want to be her.”