Mariel Loveland (Best Ex, Candy Hearts)

Best Ex might be a name you don’t recall — but the band is certainly familiar. Fronted by singer/songwriter Mariel Loveland, the pop-speckled project toured across the US and UK as Candy Hearts, a wide-eyed punk band rooted in the nostalgic world of Vans Warped tour and the Tony Hawk Pro Skater sound track (if you didn’t fight with your siblings over the PS1 controller, were you even a millennial?).

Today, the band has abandoned their bucket-list mission of finding every Tony Hawk level in real life and adopted a sparkling new sound. It was travelling between continents — with Loveland splitting her time between the US and UK — where Best Ex truly found its roots. While they’ve managed to maintain the wistful heartbreak of previous releases, they’ve slapped on some fuzzed-out synths and a heavy dose of sarcasm (blame it on the chemicals in Loveland’s recent addiction to Hot Cheetos or the fact that she had to fly back and forth to recording sessions with a deep, pathological fear of air travel).

“Bad Love” — Best Ex’s first single in two years — is a departure from the Loveland’s previous work. It’s abandoned the summery, shimmering hope of singles past and dove straight into the frigid streets of New York at night with its Doc Marten boot ankle-deep in a puddle of melted snow.