Home Read Albums Of The Week: Imelda May | 11 Past The Hour

Albums Of The Week: Imelda May | 11 Past The Hour

The onetime rockabilly queen evolves with the help of husky ballads & rock anthems.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Imelda May’s sixth album 11 Past The Hour is a record that brims with sensuality, emotional intelligence, spirituality and intuition, marking a new chapter for Imelda and showcasing her at her most authentic. With pals and collaborators like Ronnie Wood, Noel Gallagher and Miles Kane and inspired contributions from feminist thinkers and activists such as Gina Martin and Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, the album is an invigorating statement of rock n’ low slung blues.

Mostly written with co-producer Tim Bran (London Grammar, Primal Scream) and string arranger Davide Rossi (Coldplay, U2, Goldfrapp), this brave album shows an artist diving deep into her true self, her Irish roots, her love of storytelling and singing from her soul.

She says, “11 Past the Hour is my truth. I always write with meaning and from my heart as that’s the reason I write, to connect with my own story at each particular moment and I hope therefore I connect with others during theirs. I’d like to think I can put into words and music what we all feel sometimes. We all laugh, sing, love, cry, dance, kiss, care. We all experience lust, anger, joy, worry, sorrow and hope. Sometimes we stay silent and hold it all in and sometimes we dance and throw it all to the wind with abandon, but one thing is for sure is we are in this life together. Each song is a moment in my life. Each life is a moment in time. Every minute counts.”

The title track (written with Pedro Vito) opens the album with characteristic poetic vividness recalling the romance noir of a lost David Lynch soundtrack, while Made To Love is an anthem celebrating acceptance and the startling piano ballad & new single Diamonds (co-written with Ivor Novello winner Sacha Skarbeck) is a stirring stand out about digging deep to appreciate the true simplicity of love. What We Did In The Dark, a duet with Miles Kane, is a galloping ’80s goth-pop synth romp. These are Just a few of the variety of views, multiplicity of voices, range of emotions and the exciting, adventurous spread of sounds on 11 Past The Hour, with a big-hearted, big-thinking woman at the centre of it.

Born and raised in The Liberties area of Dublin, Imelda has become one of Ireland’s most famed female artists in history. Discovered by Jools Holland, who asked her to go on tour with him, Imelda has gone on to perform duets with artists including U2, Lou Reed, Sinead O Connor, Robert Plant, Van Morrison, Jack Savoretti and Elvis Costello and has featured on recent albums and live tours with Jeff Beck, Jeff Goldblum and Ronnie Wood. Her last album landed at No. 5 in the U.K. and she can count such artists as Bob Dylan and Bono amongst her fans. Last year, her 2008 album Love Tattoo was named the best-selling album of modern chart history by a homegrown female Irish artist.

As ever, Imelda manages to cut through the noise, bringing her rich, sensual voice and exuberant personality to everyone and everything around her. 11 Past The Hour is an album of grit and glamour, of wee hours vocal huskiness and anthemic pop belters. Of poetry and power. Of love and sex and fun – this is pure Imelda May.”