Last week I got to talk to the delightful Mariel Loveland from Best Ex (FKA Candy Hearts) before she went on to play a solo acoustic set in London that she flippin' smashed! 👏
I’m more than thrilled I got to spend some time with this fierce, talented lady who is now back with full force after leaving the name ‘Candy Hearts’ behind and proceeding as ‘Best Ex’. With the 8-track EP ‘Ice Cream Anti-Social’, Best Ex are stating that they’ve got a lot more to offer and experiment with than with their familiar pop-punk sound.
Besides ‘See You Again’, which could pass as a song from the Candy Hearts era, Mariel is exploring the realm of indie and electro pop through her songwriting. The opener ‘Girlfriend’ is an absolute pop banger and the stripped down use of instruments on ’Jellyfish’ and ‘February 4th’ allow for Mariel’s voice and lyrics to hit you right in the feels! 😍
In the interview, Mariel reveals some fun facts about the making of the album (including recording in a closet) and why it may or may not pass as a DIY album. This DIY spirit is something I was so impressed and inspired by, given the fact she and her band have played Warped Tour, traveled the globe and toured with huge bands such as New Found Glory and We Are The In Crowd. I really loved the fact she ventured over to Europe by herself to play an intimate acoustic show in the basement of an arcade game themed bar in South East London, a) because as the creative force behind Best Ex, she can, and b) because she's making things happen without a major label behind her, fuelled by excitement and conviction about the new material. She's in control of the new direction she and the band are taking.
While I also asked her about her motives of appealing to a different type of audience than the pop punk crowd, I decided not to dig too deep into the upsetting events of the past. Considering we’d only just met I didn't feel I wanted to confront her about what happened yet another time so as not to bring unnecessary negative vibes upon her.
However, we did talk about what the perfect tour would look like if she could take whomever she’d like with her; we covered talking about her cat and how she’s sadly still not growing an impressive amount of fur; and her ice cream routine while watching Lifetime (the better Netflix??), which sounds like something I need to get into ASAP. After this chat I honestly feel like we should just move in together as our lifestyles seem 100% compatible (I am typing this while dressed up in a leopard onesie and dreading the thought of having to leave the house again one day). 🐯
I’m really stoked for hearing those songs live with the rest of the band so hopefully Best Ex will be back in Europe sooner rather than later. It's great seeing Mariel recover from the discouragement she's faced in the past and pursuing the type of music she wants to make, on her own terms.
📱 Make sure to stay up to date with all Best Ex tour dates and news on the Tweet Machine, Instagramzzz and Facebook - some of you may have seen the incredible/ surreal announcement of her playing a show with my good friends in Sibling and Daisyhead on December 1st! I will have too many emotions and will have to run around the block to calm down in between sets.