‘Love Tattoo’ is the debut album from Ireland’s Imelda May, hitching its wagon to a train of retro sensibilities, this collection primarily works within the genres of rockabilly and jazz with a smattering of soul in places she, already something of a known commodity having supported Jools Holland on his summer tour. She’s going to be busy this summer as well with a string of festival appearances lined up including Glastonbury, Lovebox and Camp Festival.
With anything of this nature I am usually inherently dubious. After all there are many calling her ‘the Irish Amy Winehouse’. Such comparisons always set alarm bells ringing and if you take a look at the imagery associated with this release then you could be mistakenly think there is some cynical marketing at work.
Thankfully neither such statement apply. I don’t see her in the same camp as Winehouse, the pop/soul sensibilities simply don’t apply here and in many cases the songwriting approach is musically a little more raw (which stands her in good stead). Vocally Imelda has a tendency to go for the smoldering approach on the slower tracks, when the tempo is kicked up again there’s a distinctly feline snarl to her delivery. The musical accompaniment is first rate, although in places the production is just a little too bright for my ears, its a minor quibble but one I think that could have made a difference to the release.
Nonetheless it’s definitely an album I’d recommend checking out if you have even a passing interest in this style of music. If you fancy a taster before you buy the single ‘Big Bad Handsome Man’ is out on April 13th