May’s musical range has evolved from it’s early foundations of rockabilly and blues, heard predominantly throughout her first four albums, all the way through to the classically soulful and powerful productions on her last album, Life Love Flesh Blood.
Hailing from Dublin’s Liberties, May began her music career performing in clubs around the capital before moving to London in 1998. She became heavily involved with the city’s rockabilly scene and consequently developed a confident and vintage style both musically and visually for her solo project.
May first released her debut album titled No Turning Back in 2003 under her birth name, Imelda Clabby. After some fine tuning, the album was re-released in 2007 under her new artist name, Imelda May. No Turning Back is a warm vintage sounding rockabilly record full of 1950s rock and roll influences heard most prominently on the likes of Dealing With The Devil, Cry For Me Baby and Don’t Do Me No Wrong. But even on an album as early as this one, May demonstrates her musical range as she presents a more delicate, though no less powerful, performance in tracks such as Once More, End of the World and Forever You and Me. Though rockabilly is undoubtedly at the core of No Turning Back, May and her band incorporate elements of bluegrass and country throughout, resulting in a unique and timeless sounding record.