There is no title or firm release date for Imelda May’s new album yet, but it doesn’t take long to notice a change listening to this first single, “Call Me,” released yesterday on Verve Records through SoundCloud and Spotify. Gone is the rockabilly sound she’s whupped into submission for the past decade and a half or so. In its place, a new serene vibe, courtesy of producer T Bone Burnett.
That change will be reflected on the album, which May explains in the press release for the single. “I always loved the ’50s rockabilly style but there was a point where I felt I was almost dressing up as Imelda May,” she says. “It was as if I was getting into character for a gig. And I didn’t want to do that anymore. This is me.” May also says she wrote the songs for the new album with “no preconceived notions of where it was going to go.”
The album was recorded over a week in Los Angles with a core band 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), and contributions from Jeff Beck and Jools Holland. It will be released sometime in 2017.