Cindy Wilson is best known publicly for her work in the New Wave band The B52s whose career has spanned 40 years. She was one of the founding members of the innovative band contributing as a vocalist and songwriter. This month she releases her solo album Change just in time to celebrate those 40 years in the spotlight. The album came as a result of meeting multi-instrumentalist Ryan Monahan and drummer Lemuel Hayes when they performed their Beatles tribute band at her son’s birthday party almost a decade ago in her hometown of Athens, Georgia.
Shortly afterwards they began gigging and performing psychedelic and garage covers. It wasn’t long before they headed off to the studio to create their own blend of music. Along came Suny Lyons, producer and musician and the mix was complete which culminated in the EPs Sunrise and Supernatural.
Opening track People Are Asking is laid-back and almost jazzy recollecting a kind of St. Etienne feel as does track seven Sunrise. There are dreamy vibes here. Stand Back Time is pensive, wistful pop whilst title track Change is pure, shimmering, low-key disco. On the Inside mixes electro-guitar with a Middle-Eastern feel as Wilson’s sultry vocals intertwine around the melody.
No-one Can Tell You is fizzingly catchy and amongst the stand-out tracks. Others include Mystic with its Gary Numan influence. Things I’d Like to Say is a gorgeous cover of the 1969 classic track by New Colony Six. Its reminiscent of Nancy Sinatra meets Midnight Cowboy and is dazzling. The only song to me, that has any echo of B52’S about it is the brilliant cover of Oh-OK’s Brother who were also from Athens in the 80s (featuring Michael Stipe of REM’s sister Lynda on the original). This reverberates with moments of early B52’s post-punk madcap genius.
A really nice surprise of an album. I must admit I wanted to hear this because I’m a big B52s fan but here Cindy Wilson has created an album of her own vision. A debut full of glorious electronica, breathy vocals and a dash of her own charm.
Cindy Wilson’s UK Dates:
Friday 23 February 2018 – London, Under the Bridge
Saturday 24 February 2018 – Edinburgh, Liquid Room
Sunday 25 February 2018 – Manchester, The Ruby Lounge
Monday 26 February 2018 – Bristol, The Fleece