The thing with Imogen Heap, is that once you start to Google Video Search her, you become trapped in a vacuum that leads you further and further towards the way she cooks lunch and what colour she paints her kitchen. I even know when she passed her driving test (just after last studio album Ellipse was released....oh God....). She famously wore the 'Twitter Dress' to the Grammys, which had a live Twitter feed spinning around the collar in flashing red pixels. She got fans to collaborate with album artwork and even make suggestions on song alterations directly from her home studio across various forms of social media. Basically, she's not a smoke and mirrors girl. She is however, basically a cyborg. If you wanted to get pretentious, you could even say she is a truly altermodern artist.
Over the past few months she's been releasing songs and videos called Heap Songs. The idea is that once they are all released we will have an album. this is more than making an album and then giving us a documentary about it. It is a totally evolving musical process, even more freeform in structure and finality than her previous album, which while publicly visible to a degree, was still released as one cohesive project in the end.
On her website she states that she is very busy with lots of different projects and feels she can give more energy to songs one at a time rather than loads in a row. For anyone who witnessed her going gently mad alone in her roundhouse home studio during the last album, we can probably agree that this is more conducive to sanity.
Heap Song 2, Propeller Seeds, has caught my attention as the most interesting. It is a '3D immersive song,' a kind of audio story about Imogen meeting a soon to be lover after watching Felix's Machines in Oxford. As she goes back to trace the sounds in the memory, invariably other, present-day sounds, work their ways into the recordings, informing and changing the narrative. In fact, the song is so interesting it even has it's own MICROSITE.
Below is the official video. If you can, I urge you to listen to the Propeller Seeds Spaces and Places Audio Commentary (which you can do on Spotify) as it is extremely illuminating how let in we are as the public to the private creation of such an interesting conceptual piece. No Lana Del Rey illusions to be broken here, only experiments with sound and song.
And I can't resist a clip of Felix's Machines. They're just so awesome.