Mary Timony hasn’t lost a step since Wild Flag. Her band with fellow singer-guitarist Carrie Brownstein and drum master Janet Weiss, both from Sleater-Kinney, and keyboardist Rebecca Cole (formerly of Elephant Six group the Minders), confirmed a split late last year after just one album. Since then, the veteran of trailblazing ’90s underground bands Helium and Autoclave has taken the less-avant directness of Wild Flag and refined it still further with her new outfit Ex Hex, named after a 2005 album by her Mary Timony Band. “With Ex Hex, we’re really focused on making short pop songs that sound like they could be — or, we’d imagine that they could be — on the radio in 1982,” Timony told Wondering Sound contributor Tobi Vail, calling the new project “kinda relaxed and fun.” That definitely applied to the Washington, D.C. band’s first single, “Hot and Cold,” and “Don’t Wanna Lose” is another fuzz-pop blast, with lyrical evocations ranging from new-wave karaoke fodder the Outfield to garage-rockers the Count Five. The song is from Ex Hex’s debut album, Rips, due out in North America on October 7 via Merge, recorded in North Carolina with Mitch Easter (R.E.M.), and you can check out Ex Hex’s tour dates here.