Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

There May Be Tears

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

There May Be Tears

Article excerpt

IT'S fair to say Imelda May won't be winning any prizes for stoicism anytime soon. The acclaimed Irish songstress - whose latest album, Life. Love. Flesh. Blood, is full of raw, painful ballads about her recent marriage breakdown - had vowed not to let emotions get the better of her when it came to performing those new songs for the first time in public. It didn't take very long, however, for those tear ducts to open up.

"I played one show recently where the audience were in tears," May recalls. "There were these women at the front, singing the songs back at me, with such force and feeling; it was so emotional. And it suddenly set me off; I started to well up for the people in the audience! I'm proud that my songs have connected with people in such a way."

Not that she's ever been afraid to show her emotions, but the Imelda May of 2017, it's safe to say, is clearly connecting with audiences like never before. Her fifth album, the dramatically-titled Life.

Love. Flesh. Blood, signals a big change in musical direction - the rockabilly romps of her previous albums have been replaced by country soul ballads - whilst her song lyrics, says a proud May, "are my most honest ever. I've always been truthful in my songs, but I found ways of hiding things. This time I put my heart on a page."

Since her last album, 2014's Tribal, the Irish songstress has split from her husband and former bandmate Darrel Higham. The couple were married for 13 years and have a four-year-old daughter, Violet. ?With grim inevitability, the changes in May's personal life and the searing candour of her new music have led to much speculation from more prurient (not CityLife, of course) media outlets.

"The hardest part has been having to promote this album," she says. "Because I've been so open in my music, there's almost this expectation that I'm going to be equally open in interviews. There was one journalist who was picking away at me, asking personal questions about my husband, trying to get this big headline. I came away from that interview really upset. It made me think, 'Do I want keep writing such personal songs if it means people will want to pry into my life? …

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