Released on DECCA on 7th April
"She has poured her heart and soul into her new album" Evening Standard
“I love the girl she used to be but I think I love even more the woman she’s become. Still mischievous and playful, still a siren, but there’s an ache in her voice now that has me with a glass at my ear to the wall of her world where trouble has entered the room. There’s an erotic power here that’s not just feminine power. She makes truth telling an invitation to intimacy.” Bono
“I’ve never met anyone quite like Imelda May. She is full of life…I was inspired by her honesty and her generosity, and I continue to be intrigued.” T Bone Burnett
Imelda May today reveals her stunning new album cover as she officially announces her fifth studio record, entitled ‘Life. Love. Flesh. Blood’, to be released on Decca Records on 7th April.
It is clear that one of Ireland’s biggest exports has found a new groove, here presenting the most personal and intimately autobiographical album she has ever written. The album is produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett, who said of Imelda:
“When I first happened onto her music, she was a punky Irish Rockabilly singer with a great band. When I ran across her several years later, she had gone through a change of lives and was writing about it with a wild intensity and singing about it in the most open hearted way” – T Bone Burnett
Recorded over seven days in Los Angeles, the album features musical contributions from guitar hero Jeff Beck (on ‘Black Tears’), piano legend Jools Holland (on ‘When It’s My Time’) and an accomplished group of backing musicians including the core trio of guitarist Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello), drummer Jay Bellerose (Elton John & Leon Russell, Ray Lamontagne) and bassist Zach Dawes (The Last Shadow Puppets, Mini Mansions), the same band that recorded Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand.
The album marks a new direction for May who, in the time since her 2014 release Tribal, ended her marriage of eighteen years. Imelda May’s new sound sits firmly outside of any sharply defined genre box, widely spanning blues, rock, soul, gospel and jazz. 'Life, Love, Flesh, Blood' breathes new life into a classic sound, with Imelda’s powerhouse vocal as distinctive as ever, cementing her position as one of the strongest vocalists of her generation. The singer herself describes the record as her most "honest" yet. Imelda’s life changed considerably in the run up to recording, and this is documented in the only way she knew how. “It's therapy, like keeping a diary that a lot of people read. Some of my favorite songs don’t say much, but they reveal everything.” Imelda explains.
Single ‘Black Tears’, premiering today, is one such example. A personal and heart-wrenching ballad, it features a distinctive slide guitar part, coupled with a unique picking and guitar tone that could be the handiwork of only one man – the legendary Jeff Beck.
Jeff Beck says of Imelda, “I knew it from the start ...you cannot ignore talent this unique” – Jeff Beck
Imelda showcases her raw yet restrained breathtaking lead vocal, complimented by rich backing vocals and a super tight rhythm section. Written with Angelo Petragalia (Kings of Leon), the inspiration for the song’s visual and poignant lyrics were inspired by a very personal moment for Imelda:
“I wrote Black Tears with Angelo Petraglia after a heart wrenchingly difficult goodbye. I closed my door and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror with black tears rolling down my face. It's a sight and situation most women have unfortunately seen ourselves in at some point in life. Angelo had a beautiful guitar piece that fit the mood perfectly.”
Imelda saw 2017 in with this very track, as she impressed viewers of Jools Holland’s esteemed annual Hootenanny on New Year’s Eve with a captivating live performance, which landed hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube in just days of its upload and was the most popular hootenanny video this year on BBC Music’s YouTube channel.
Imelda May, born and raised in The Liberties area of Dublin, has become one of Ireland’s most celebrated female artists in history. Discovered by Jools Holland, who asked Imelda to support him on tour, Imelda has gone on to perform alongside legendary artists including Lou Reed, Bono and Smokey Robinson. Her previous album ‘Tribal’ debuted at #1 in Ireland and #3 in the UK.
Imelda has also just announced her extensive 2017 UK Headline Tour in May, including a night at The London Palladium.
MAY 2017 UK & IRELAND TOUR DATES: THU 04 IPSWICH REGENT THEATRE FRI 05 CARDIFF ST DAVID’S HALL SAT 06 CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE MON 08 SOUTHEND CLIFFS PAVILION TUE 09 GUILDFORD G LIVE THU 11 READING HEXAGON FRI 12 BOURNEMOUTH PAVILION THEATRE SAT 1 NOTTINGHAM ROYAL CONCERT HALL MON 15 LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC TUE 16 YORK BARBICAN THU 18 LONDON PALLADIUM FRI 19 BRISTOL COLSTON HALL SAT 20 MANCHESTER BRIDGEWATER HALL MON 22 BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY HALL TUE 23 EDINBURGH USHER HALL WED 24 GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL FRI 26 GATESHEAD THE SAGE SAT 27 BELFAST WATERFRONT HALL MON 29 DUBLIN, BORD GAIS ENERGY THEATRE TUE 30 DUBLIN, BORD GAIS ENERGY THEATRE WED 31 DUBLIN, BORD GAIS ENERGY THEATRE