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imogen heap makes history at the grammys too

The headlines today are already full of proclamations about how Beyoncé Knowles’ six Grammy wins last night are the most ever awarded to a female artist at one event, and how Taylor Swift, at just 20 years old, became the youngest ever winner of the coveted Album Of The Year award, but Imogen Heap’s (not unexpected) win for Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) for Ellipse will go down in history too. It’s the first time that a solo female artist has been recognised in this category for their technical production chops. Making history in another way, Heap collected her first ever Grammy statue wearing a specially engineered wifi-enabled dress that brought social media network Twitter into a whole new dimension, allowing her followers to upload photos directly to the dress, which she designed to display any twitpics bearing the hashtag #twitdress as a way to let her fans “accompany me on the red carpet.”

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2010 grammy nominees include neko case and imogen heap
December 3, 2009, 6:38 pm
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , , , ,

Another year, another exhausting trawl through all 109 categories of the Grammy Awards looking for something worth shouting about. Here’s one: Neko Case received her first Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Album for this year’s excellent Middle Cyclone, by far her highest charting album to date. The album also received a nod in the Best Recording Package category. Imogen Heap was nominated in two categories, one recognising her skills as an engineer for the album Ellipse and the other being Best Pop Instrumental Performance for that album’s ‘The Fire’.

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imogen heap tour presale starts 10am tomorrow
October 26, 2009, 11:18 pm
Filed under: news, where's the gigs | Tags: , , ,

261009_imogenheapFirst UK gigs since January 2007

Making her much anticipated live return after three years tucked away behind her laptop and piano, Imogen Heap has announced a 10-date UK tour for February 2010 with presale tickets going onsale at 10am tomorrow morning. We’re not sure if you need a password for the presale, but if you want to err on the side of caution then you should join Imogen’s mailing list to make sure you don’t miss out on the best tickets. Go here to make your booking, or call 0871 230 0333. The tour kicks off in Manchester on February 7th at the Academy 2 and culminates in a hometown show at the Shepherds Bush Empire on February 19th. Full dates below. General sale starts Friday. Continue reading

imogen heap: ellipse (2009)
August 20, 2009, 11:43 am
Filed under: album, review, video | Tags: , , ,


Imogen Heap
Ellipse ••½
Megaphonic / SonyBMG

Imogen Heap’s third solo album has been shrouded in great mystery for the last two years. She kept fans up-to-date with its progress through Twitter, but it seemed as though the more information she gave, the more mysterious it became. This is the case in hand with the album’s title – Ellipse. Ostensibly it is the shape found when dissecting a cone, a sort of elongated circle with flattened sides, but ‘ellipse’ also refers to the orbits planets make around the sun, eluding to the ‘two-body’ problem – the way a planet orbits a star, or a satellite the earth. Indeed the album’s cover depicts Heap with outstretched hands and a series of these geometrical shapes in light orbits above them. Ellipse therefore suggests an album about relationships, the way two people orbit each other, and the power struggles and manoeuvres that occur between them.

The saddening thing here is that the album might as well have been titled with the etymologically similar word ‘ellipsis’, which refers to the omission of words in a sentence replaced by dots, suggesting that something is missing. And there is something missing from Ellipse;  gone are the well-crafted melodies and strong percussive elements, gone is the heart at the centre of each song, and gone is the essential part of Heap’s self. For all its attempts at sonic innovation, envelope pushing and quirky lyrical content, Ellipse is an album bereft of new ideas and emotional impact, with only dots to be found between the few strong songs on here.

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free music monday: imogen heap
July 27, 2009, 9:27 pm
Filed under: free music friday, mp3, review, video | Tags: , , ,

fmf_imogenheapImogen Heap

It has been four years since Heap’s sensational breakthrough Speak For Yourself did much to bolster her already acclaimed talents and rapidly expanded her fanbase. The prolific writer has been far from stagnant since then, as her online blogs will happily attest, and the Romford-born, Grammy-nominated artist now returns with an eagerly awaited third album Ellipse, due for release on August 24th. As one of Twitter’s most digitally enterprising and interesting denizens, it makes perfect sense that preview track ‘Canvas’ was given away last week (along with a free download of its accompanying video) using the microblogging network, and it proves to be a delicious introduction to Imogen’s new material.

An undulating, richly layered number, ‘Canvas’ blends piano, violin, acoustic strings and layers of subtle electronic textures weaving in and out of the foreground, creating an almost Impressionist soundscape. Heard in tandem with recent radio airplay track ‘First Train Home’,  Ellipse looks set to continue Imogen’s established reputation as a songwriter extraordinaire, and her skills at blending real and electronic instruments seem to be as aesthetically proficient ever, if not showing a huge deal of progression. MP3 after the jump.

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imogen heap confirms ellipse tracklist
June 8, 2009, 4:47 pm
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , , ,

080609_imogenheapRelease set for early August

After a relatively insular 2-year gestation, Imogen Heap’s eagerly awaited third album Ellipse has taken on a much more collaborative slant lately as the two-time Grammy nominee has boldly harnessed the power of Twitter to create not only her new press release biography but also to allow fans to contribute to the album artwork. Imogen promises a final product far removed from the stale conventions of jewel cases, working with architect Andy Hau to create the album packaging. As for the imagery, she recently invited users of photography/social networking site Flickr to contribute their own pictures for the chance to have them feature in the booklet. She’ll be working with photographers Jennie Hancock and Ewan Robertson on those, stemming from their original idea of “projecting images onto objects and myself in and around the house / studio”. She’s also working once again with photographer Jeremy Cowart.

Ellipse will be released through Heap’s own label Megaphonic on August 3rd, once again licensed to Epic Records in the UK and to RCA in the States. The much debated final tracklist was finally revealed today, via Twitter naturally. Imogen has also revealed that the first single will be album opener ‘First Train Home’, although we are expecting to hear ‘Canvas’ first as an accompanying video has already been made and should see the light of day soon. A making-of DVD will be released separately from the album, at a later date.

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new imogen heap album info “leaked”
April 25, 2009, 10:41 am
Filed under: news, trouser press, video | Tags: , , ,

110309_imogenheapWhat’s the world coming to, eh?

Imogen Heap’s long-awaited follow-up to 2005’s Speak For Yourself will be titled Ellipse and is due out in August. US entertainment website Access Hollywood broke the story before the notoriously hands-on artist herself, apparently because she forgot to tell the journalists at one of her intimate listening sessions to keep the album details under their hats. The few bits of information that have emerged seem pretty interesting. The album was written in Hawaii; Imogen decided on the destination using a fittingly modern method of spinning Google Earth around a few times and zooming in on where it stopped. A Google search for “Hawaii luxury accommodation grand piano” led her to “a place on the rainy side of Maui” where she, piano and laptop came up with the songs that make up Ellipse.

The “leak” isn’t massively informative about how Ellipse sounds. Album opener ‘First Train Home’ is described as “an upbeat track” that features “her interpretation of a train orchestra”, and was inspired by something so mundane as wanting to go home on a night out. The story behind ‘Canvas’, though, is far less ordinary; the song is said to have been inspired by “an extraordinary video of a man painting breathtaking landscapes on a black canvas with white paint.” ‘Earth’, meanwhile, finds Imogen taking on the perspective of the planet itself, “as a mother, scolding humanity.”

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