hmv's Albums of 2014: Imogen Heap
Every day throughout January we're going to be previewing 2014's biggest records. Today we look at Imogen Heap and her new album Sparks.
A Little Background…
Angelic, yet eccentric English singer-songwriter and one half of Frou Frou, Imogen Heap, is on the brink of sharing her fourth studio album with our eager ears. Her previous offering, Ellipse, dates back to 2009 and was extremely well received by both fans and critics, both of whom have been chomping at the bit to hear new music ever since.
Heap has announced gleefully that her 2014 release will be available from 3rd March, with an extremely special, intimate deluxe edition landing the week before. Never before has an expanded version sounded so thrilling; all sorts of extras are included within the package, from the standard few music videos, to a one hundred and twenty-page coffee table book and a mysterious deck of playing cards, allowing exclusive web content to be unlocked. It therefore should come as no shock that those with access to any sneaky previews have dubbed this album “diverse and daring”.
What’s It Called?
Heap’s website confirmed recently that her March release will be titled Sparks, which seems quite intriguing and as though it paves the way for something rather spectacular. When Heap has discussed what she has been producing, she seems to have been totally inspired by people right across the globe, so it’s no wonder she has selected a title with an explosive feel.
What Will It Sound Like?
In a recent interview, Heap explained the path she travelled which took her to making Sparks. Though it will probably sound similar in style to her previous ventures, Heap stated that “the album began with someone sending in the sound of a striking match for what became Lifeline in March 2011”. Spending two and a half years dotting from place-to-place, spanning the world, allowed Heap the opportunity to collaborate with several projects undertaken by many different people, which gave her the stimulation to create the artwork out of fans’ footprints and those she had met. Anyone who pre-ordered the deluxe edition was asked to send an image of their footprint, to add to this rare montage.
#heapsongs is the tag given to the collection of thirteen utterly unique pieces produced by Heap from 2011 to 2012, ranging from songs as a tribute for Tohoku earthquake and tsunami victims, to a collaboration with Deadmau5, and even a track produced with Intel for a Jogging App. These #heapsongs are an arsenal of interesting and imaginative ideas put to excellent musical accompaniment, indicating that Sparks will be quite a different sort of album, yet still echoes of original Imogen Heap.
Who’s Producing It? Are There Any Big-Name Guests?
Despite all her wonderful eccentricity and desire for originality, Heap is a shy artist, who doesn’t tend to brag about enlisting well-known producers to help make the record, nor does she collaborate with major names on almost any track. Despite this, Heap does collaborate with two artists: Vishal–Shekhar, a directing duo specialising in Hindi films, and massive house producer, Deadmau5, he of the mouse head and massive pots of money fame…
Will It Really Come Out This Year? And When?
Imogen Heap is committed to bequeathing us a fourth album, and is set to release Sparks on 3rd March, offering both a standard edition and an extraordinary, tantalising deluxe too.