No Shutdown for DC Bands Ex Hex, Priests

A pair of Washington punk stalwarts have announced follow-ups to their breakthrough albums. You’ll have to set the Wayback Machine for 2014 to find Ex Hex’s debut Rips, but its windows-down, ’80s guitar-fueled driving tunes graced many Best of Year lists at the time. Rips was the most accessible work of frontwoman Mary Timony’s storied career, and drew deserved renewed attention to her ’90s output as Helium. Ex Hex (pictured) will return on March 22, with Merge Records helping the trio cast another spell with It’s Real. No Georgia dates are to be found on the first tour leg, alas.

Priests are now technically a trio as well, having excommunicated their bassist sometime after 2017’s mind-blowing Nothing Feels Natural. The politically caustic and darkly danceable combo hasn’t waited as long to take a bow. The Seduction of Kansas, an even more ambitious work helmed by it-producer John Congleton (Sharon Van Etten, St. Vincent), arrives on April 5. One of those ferociously independent DC outfits, Priests will unleash Kansas through their own Sister Polygon label, home to the early work of 2018 poster child Snail Mail. Priests still perform as a four-piece, which they’ll do when they return to the Drunken Unicorn on June 17.

Ex Hex photo by Michael Lavine.