(Kill Rock Stars) After some time out of the spotlight, longtime B-52s songwriter and vocalist Cindy Wilson emerged late last year with Sunrise, an exquisitely produced five-song EP of covers and originals showcasing a broad palette of pop and electronic sounds, plus a cadre of primo Athens musicians capable of taking Wilson’s latest tunes to intoxicating new heights. After following up with another EP in February—this time of all original material—Wilson is releasing her first solo album, an ambitious collection of dreamy atmospherics and synthesized pep that fine-tunes and focuses the songwriting of those first two records.
What stands out most about Change is how Wilson’s writing fits so squarely into her supporting cast’s collective niches. It would be hard to imagine the pure magic of the previously released “Sunrise,” for example, without Ryan Monahan’s simple yet soulful guitar line, Lemuel Hayes’ breezy, laid-back groove or producer Suny Lyons’ rich orchestral flourishes. The group shines particularly brightly on the wistful nu-disco track “Stand Back Time,” the Gary Numan-meets-St. Vincent “Mystic” and the spacey sound odyssey of “On the Inside.” Here’s hoping the gears keep turning for Wilson and her cohorts.
CINDY WILSON Founding member of the B-52s whose current work displays psychedelic and disco influences.
YIP DECEIVER An infectiously fun blend of feel-good pop, R&B grooves and noise-bending electro from Athens.
MATERIAL GIRLS Atlanta band featuring current and former members of Concord America and Chief Scout.