Last week I gave away a song (which you can find again below) by upcoming blues/jazz/rock singer Imelda May, but I feel like she deserves a more proper introduction. The talented crooner/songwriter boasts a strong, sultry voice and a great ear for melody which have earned her a spot on the Jooles Holland show, the admiration of Jeff Beck, and no small amount of converts in her native Ireland and throughout the rest of the UK. May is just now releasing her debut album in the U.S. where I imagine she will receive a warm welcome as well, combining classic blues, boogie-woogie, and plain old rock 'n' roll into a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining set of 12 tracks for her new record.
Opener and first single "Johnny Got a Boom Boom" sets the stage, with Imelda's smoldering vocals over an active bass line and some stellar stick work. The tune is the first of many examples of May's fantastic vocal ability with both aggressive rockers and delicate ballads, but it's readily apparent that the boys in the band are just as integral to the success of the album as their fiery frontwoman. Throughout the album they conjure up the appropriate backdrop for her bluesy poetry; "Feel Me" has some jazzy piano and a sweet guitar solo, "Big Bad Handsome Man" features delightful, squealing trumpet over a swingin' beat, and "Meet You at the Moon" slows things down for a smoky lounge ballad with all the right touches. It's gritty, sexy, and fun all at once, a record that makes for one spectacular debut.
Download the single below (or watch the video), check Imelda May and company out on MySpace, and get a hold of Love Tattoo as soon as possible - you'll be very glad you did.
Johnny Got a Boom Boom (zipped MP3)