In the run up to the release of her latest album, Imelda May has released a video for her new single, ‘Should’ve Been You’.
May releases her fifth studio LP, ‘Life. Love. Flesh. Blood’, on 21 April and will be supporting it with extensive touring, including a performance at London Palladium on 18 May.
That venue’s not far from the location of the ‘Should’ve Been You’ video shoot. Conceptualised by May herself and influenced by the recent Women’s March, the clip has a group of women, including the singer, marching through Brixton Market with placards bearing empowerment messages.
“I wrote ‘Should’ve Been You’ as a personal story of heartbreak, regret and eventual empowerment,” says May, “but when making this video I wanted it to reflect current feelings of solidarity amongst lots of women worldwide in response to events unfolding around us such as the Trump administration’s approach to affordable health and maternity issues.
“I wanted to ask the question: ‘Who takes care of us?’ We are 50% of the world and it’s the people in power’s responsibility to take care of women as well. It still seems like it’s a man’s world and in 2017 that’s shocking. And I have a young daughter, which changes your perception of how you want things to be. You want to leave her a better world, you think ahead that way.
“The women in the video, who were predominantly made up of my fans, represent a cross section of wonderful everyday women – superwomen from all walks of life. They are not victims or aggressive towards men but are powerful and positive representations of the female spirit and solidarity.
“I am very proud of it. We worked hard, had fun, had many laughs and all before most ran off to do the school run! They all made me feel proud to be a woman!”
‘Should’ve Been You’, like the rest of ‘Life. Love. Flesh. Blood’, was recorded in Los Angeles with producer T Bone Burnett and the same band that recorded Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ ‘Raising Sand’, with guest appearances from Jeff Beck and Jools Holland.
Recorded within seven days, the new album reflects the changes in May’s life since she released ‘Tribal’ in 2014.
“When I first happened onto her music, she was a punky Irish Rockabilly singer with a great band,” says Burnett. “When I ran across her several years later, she had gone through a change of lives and was writing about it with a wild intensity and singing about it in the most open-hearted way.”
Adds May: “It’s therapy, like keeping a diary that a lot of people read. Some of my favorite songs don’t say much, but they reveal everything.”