The room is silent, but for slow, heavy breaths and the fluttering of eyes focused intently on the phone – waiting, hoping, praying. Those who haven’t spent a night waiting for a message that never came don’t know what they are missing: It physically hurts to feel so vulnerable. The pain of someone not feeling for you the way you feel for them stings deeper still. Love is wonderful once you have it, but getting there isn’t easy.
Put it down, then I pick it back up
Waiting for your name to pop up
Telling me that you’re still in love
Still in love with me
No matter how hard I hope
No matter how much I want
No matter how bad I’m broke
You still don’t call me
Listen: “Call Me” – Imelda May
Irish singer/songwriter Imelda May’s “Call Me” will stop you in your tracks: The breathtakingly delicate ballad is a slow, poignant reminder of heartache’s overwhelming suffering. It engulfs listeners in the moment, evoking in us all-too familiar feelings as May captures a moment of true and bitter sadness: “You’ve taken all the time you need,” she sings in the chorus. It feels as if she’s using all her strength to not break down in tears. “If our love means anything, baby please call me.”
Considering the heavy weight of such a gloomy situation, “Call Me” is impressively light. May gives 100% on an impeccable vocal performance, but still comes off a little laid back – an approach that keeps all parties (artist and listener alike) from being swallowed by sorrow. “Call Me” may be best described as fragile: May feels truly on the brink of breaking throughout, clamping down on her emotions to prevent them from tearing through her skin and consuming her whole. Fragility like that comes once in every 1,000 performances, meaning “Call Me” truly is the needle in the haystack. Moreover, it perfectly evokes the combination of agony, regret, and betrayal that May chokes on in her words.
Can’t sleep, I’m scared to dream
I’m remembering everything
That you said to me
When I was yours, and you were mine
And I didn’t have to wait all night
for you to call me
“Call Me” is the lead single off Imelda May’s fifth full-length record, Life, Love, Flesh, Blood, which was produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett and is set for an April 7 release through legendary Decca Records/Verve Records (pre-order here). “If somebody can connect with this album or relate to it, and if it makes them feel… then that’s me happy,” says May in a recently-released album trailer. Having recently ended her eighteen-year marriage, May seems to pour herself out in her music in a way that most artists can only dream of doing. Music creation can be even more cathartic than music listening, and the power and import of that release is certainly felt on “Call Me.”
Inside she may be a storm, but Imelda May is cool and collected as she sings a tearjerkingly raw, honest tale of love and loss on “Call Me.” Check back for Atwood Magazine’s exclusive interview with Imelda May, due out around her April album release. In the meantime, listen to more of May’s catalogue on iTunes, Amazon or Spotify.
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