Imelda May kept seeing the number 11. Dialing back and decompressing from her 2017 release Life Love Flesh Blood, the Irish artist delved deeper into her psyche and eventually had an awakening, all centered around the digit she kept seeing, and the origin of her sixth album 11 Past the Hour (Decca Records).
“In many cultures it’s a wake up call, so I decided to listen and go with it, and it really took me on this amazing journey, which has led me to delve into pre-Christian art and ancient paganism,” says May of the recurring 11 she kept seeing all around. Her journey brought her to the prehistoric tomb of Newgrange in Meath, Ireland, a 5,000-year-old burial site planted in the center of a field. She had visited many times as a child but never as an adult. Once there, one must capture the sun rising and slipping through a tiny chamber above the dome’s doorway.
“Light fills the inner chamber for about five minutes, and then it’s gone,” says May. “All of that waiting, for that one moment. It blew my mind as an adult to see this, to run my fingers on the rock, and see all these places where my ancestors exist. It really had a strong and wonderful effect on me and led me to this album. 11 Past the Hour is a look at new discoveries, intuition, and awakening.”
Written with co-producer Tim Bran (Primal Scream) and string arranger Davide Rossi (Coldplay, U2, Goldfrapp), 11 Past the Hour is a Imelda May’s awakening, revolving around love.
“Every song is about love, in different forms, not necessarily romantic love,” reveals May. “It’s about fighting for love, and in its truest form, it’s worth fighting for. We often chase that romantic glow, but that’s just one small part of it.”