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Irish singer Imelda May, known for a hard-driving '50s rockabilly style, has changed her tune. Her new album, Life Love Flesh Blood, is an autobiographical collection of smoky torch songs, soul and blues; it comes out following the end of her 18-year marriage. But May tells NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro that this isn't a straightforward breakup record.
"I wrote the album over the course of a year, so I wrote it about everything," she says. "So yes, my marriage breakup is in there, but then I met someone else — and feeling guilty for being happy again, and then having desire and sensuality, all these beautiful things that are certainly a different experience in your 40s than in your 20s, you know? You learn new things about yourself."
Hear more from May, including her explanation of how her career paralleled the movie The Commitments, at the audio link.