Release Date: Feb 17, 2015
Record label: Lazy Meadow Music
As unlikely as it seems, Guitars And Microphones is the first solo album from the B-52s’ Kate Pierson. There was rumblings of a solo project some years ago, but the re-emergence of B-52s and the year writing and recording process for their last studio album, Funplex (2008) put the brakes on. So at 66, an age when most vocalists are preparing for their last hurrah, Pierson is making her first.
As part of the B-52s, Kate Pierson has left a significant fingerprint on the last four decades of popular music. From their early, kitschy new wave blasts to later PG-13 party hits like "Love Shack", the group’s music has always been defined by an irreverent queerness: a patchwork quilt of influences, a willingness to embrace femininity, and a surprising resilience, all fused together in the shape of a band that occupies a unique space in pop history. Pierson is one of the talented utility players that helps the band run—a multi-instrumentalist, a songwriter, and a distinctive vocalist—but hasn’t had a chance to shine on a solo basis until now: She’s releasing her first solo record, Guitars and Microphones, at the age of 66.
Kate Pierson has defined the eccentric soul of the B-52s for more than three decades. Now the feisty Jersey girl has a private Idaho of her own. Executive-produced by Sia, Pierson's solo debut is a collection of brassy manifestoes about independence and, naturally, outer space. One of the best intergalactic jams, "Bottoms Up," was co-written by Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi.
In her mid-60s and sounding as riled up as a 20-something version of herself, Kate Pierson has released her first solo album. Ever. That’s astonishing given her deep career with theB-52s and numerous collaborations with the likes of Iggy Pop and R.E.M. “Guitars and Microphones” is right in line with Pierson’s penchant for spiky dance pop, but it’s also a more revealing look at the atomically redheaded siren.