Mayhem

Irish singer Imelda May hangs out at the same intersection of rockabilly and swing where Brian Setzer parked his Cadillac in the late Nineties. Her third record places her rich, pouty voice inside coils of surf guitar and thumping stand-up bass, offering moments of violence (the title track) and seduction (the slinky striptease "All For You"). Throughout, she exudes the dangerous allure of a 1950s pulp pinup, the kind with racecar red lips and a dagger in her boot. But it's not all snarls and stilettos: "Kentish Town Waltz," with its promise that, "you're the one for all my life," goes for the heartstrings instead of the jugular. It's the perfect soundtrack for a greaser couples' first dance.

Listen to "Mayhem":

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