Imelda May has topped the UK Americana chart with her highly praised new album – ‘Life. Love. Flesh. Blood’. The Irish singer songwriter also hit No.5 in the official UK album chart (her second UK top 5), ahead of artists including Texas and Drake with her strongest first sales week ever in the UK. The album also debuted at No.2 in her native Ireland.
Howard Mills of the Americana Music Association UK stated,
“Imelda May has become a firm favourite with the Americana community in the UK, adding a touch of glamour as a presenter at our Awards show this year. We are over the moon to see her fabulous new album hit the top spot on the Official Americana Albums chart.”
Imelda has had a jam-packed week of promotion around her new record, including appearing live this morning on Chris Evans BBC Radio 2 show where she performed a brilliant cover of U2’s ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I Was Looking For’. Listen again here. Earlier this week, Imelda joined the Guardian for a webchat where she discussed a range of topics and questions sent in by fans including, “what is it like to learn Bob Dylan is a fan of your music”, followed by a rammed in-store appearance at HMV Oxford Street, where she performed an acoustic set of material from her new album ‘Life. Love. Flesh. Blood’.
Imelda begins her extensive 2017 UK Headline Tour next week, which will include a night at The London Palladium on 18 May. A string of shows in the US and Canada in June follows, including three dates as support for Elvis Costello – full dates below. For more information please visit her official website.
‘Life. Love. Flesh. Blood’ is one of the most critically acclaimed albums of this year. Praised by publications including Q, Uncut and Mojo (“A powerful new direction”), The Sun, The Mirror to the Mail On Sunday (who made it Album Of The Week, gave it four stars and stated: “Great albums tend to be growers, but this one grabs you at first acquaintance”). Support also comes from The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph (comparing it to Bob Dylan’s classic album ‘Blood On The Tracks’) alongside support from US industry publications Rolling Stone and Billboard Magazine as well as UK tastemaker music publications from The Arts Desk to The Four Oh Five.
The record is produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett, who said of Imelda:
“I’ve never met anyone quite like Imelda May. She is full of life. When I first happened onto her music, she was a punky Irish Rockabilly singer with a great band. I was intrigued by her deep feeling for and understanding of that American art form, much of which, of course, had originated in Ireland. 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. I was inspired by her honesty and her generosity, and I continue to be intrigued.”
Recorded over seven days in Los Angeles, the album features musical contributions from guitar hero Jeff Beck (who plays guitar on the heart-wrenching single ‘Black Tears’, which was A-listed at BBC Radio 2), 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 (Robert Plant and Alison Krauss) and bassist Zach Dawes (The Last Shadow Puppets, Mini Mansions).
It is clear that one of Ireland’s biggest exports has found a new groove, presenting the most personal and intimately autobiographical album she has ever written. 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. She explains:
“It’s therapy, like keeping a diary that a lot of people read. Some of my favourite songs don’t say much, but they reveal everything.”
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
FRI 12 – BOURNEMOUTH PAVILION THEATRE
SAT 13 – 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
READING HEXAGON RESCHEDULED TO JUNE 12
JUNE 2017 USA TOUR DATES:
TUE 20 – RICHMOND, VA – RICHMOND RACEWAY COMPLEX*
WED 21 – CHARLOTTE, NC – CHARLOTTE METRO CREDIT UNION AMPHITHEATRE*
THU 22 – VIENNA, VA – FILENE CENTER AT WOLF*
SAT 24 – BOSTON, MA – PARADISE ROCK CLUB
SUN 25 – PHILADELPHIA, PA – UNION TRANSFER
TUE 27 – NEW YORK, NY – WEBSTER HALL
WED 28 – TORONTO, ON – DANFORTH MUSIC HALL
FRI 30 – CHICAGO, IL – PARK WEST
*SUPPORTING ELVIS COSTELLO