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May 22, 2009 5:51 PM   Subscribe

Imogen Heap (previously video) has been having loads of fun recording her newest record, Ellipse. She's putting up half hour long sessions of her playing piano, having album art contests, and losing her keys. Oh and beatboxing.
posted by cashman (17 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
I used to follow her blog for a while. She has great updates on her video blog. I like the one where she has a bunch of family and friends, in a large circle, jumping up and stomping on the floor to record a backbeat...and I can't find it.
I never realised that was Zach Braff, sitting on that couch, in front her when she was performing that version of Just For Now.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:23 PM on May 22, 2009


Automatic browser resizing makes me angry.
posted by sharksandwich at 6:31 PM on May 22, 2009


There's something about her music that I really, really like, and I can't even tell you what it is. "The Walk" was my first exposure, and it stopped me doing whatever I was doing at the time just to listen. I've bought two of her albums; "Speak For Yourself" under her own name, and "Details" by the band Frou Frou, and I've gotten a ton of mileage out of both.

She does use pitch bending and other trickery, but she doesn't need it -- it's an artistic flourish, not a necessity to cover a poor voice. It's kind of a weird voice, but she needs no autotuning help.

In a way, the music vaguely reminds me of Kate Bush and early Peter Gabriel, particularly PG's combination of slightly incoherent lyrics and really interesting melodies. Unlike with those two, there are no particularly deep thoughts to be found, but the music itself is very strong.

It's worth a listen. If it happens to catch your ear, I suspect it'll pull pretty hard.
posted by Malor at 6:47 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


malor: I've bought two of her albums; "Speak For Yourself" under her own name

You should pick up i Megaphone, too. Also great. I haven't heard anything from FrouFrou, though.
posted by Decimask at 6:54 PM on May 22, 2009


Have to add a link to the [free from Amazon] live rendition of 'blanket' with Jeff Beck on the guitar - what's not to like
posted by azlondon at 8:05 PM on May 22, 2009


Wow. This is good.

I've never actually listened to Imogen Heap; I think I always assumed she must be related to Uriah Heep.
posted by koeselitz at 10:49 PM on May 22, 2009


I haven't heard anything from FrouFrou, though.

You really should. "Details" (their only album, and the totality of their released music other than an unlikely cover of Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out For A Hero" on the Shrek 2 soundtrack) is one of my very favorite albums ever, and I've heard a lot of albums. It's just amazing. Every single song is awesome.

Man, it seems like she's been recording this album forever. Quit making video blogs and doing Twitter updates and get to work, missy! Also, please tour and come to my city. Thank you.

I kid. With all the time that went into making it, it should be pretty awesome. Also, if you didn't know, she plays/sequences/etc. almost all the instruments, produces/engineers everything herself, records everything in her home studio, and releases the records on her own label (Megaphonic Records). She even did the album artwork on "Speak For Yourself". She probably did the catering for the release party, ferchrissake. That's pretty amazing regardless, but even more so in a world of "artists" who cannot even hold a tune without extensive AutoTuning and have no musical ability or talent whatsoever.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:57 PM on May 22, 2009


She does use pitch bending and other trickery, but she doesn't need it -- it's an artistic flourish, not a necessity to cover a poor voice. It's kind of a weird voice, but she needs no autotuning help.

That's a vocoder that she uses, which sort of sounds like the extreme-Autotune-"Do you believe in life after love" effect, but is totally different. It's much older, and was in vogue in the late 70s-80s (Kraftwerk's "The Robots", for example, and pretty much every electro track ever), but became kind of cliched and is only recently becoming popular again.
posted by DecemberBoy at 11:03 PM on May 22, 2009


Imogen Heap is awesome. One of the few people whose Twitter updates I find genuinely interesting, and she seems like a nice person despite her fame. I still like the Frou Frou album best, though.
posted by mmoncur at 11:13 PM on May 22, 2009


I've always marked her down as a studio performer, though, at least with stuff like Hide & Seek. I don't know enough about what she does to say why, exactly, but I wasn't overly impressed with the snippets of live stuff I've seen.
posted by Decimask at 11:24 PM on May 22, 2009


Decimask, you must be one of those impossible-to-[overly]-impress people. Or maybe I'm just the opposite. First time I saw that video I was dumbstruck.
posted by Glee at 4:50 AM on May 23, 2009


When I Megaphone came out, I reviewed it for a webzine that's no longer online. She's unbelievably talented and has a gorgeous, gorgeous voice, but I remember finding the production very overindulgent and dated. (A few of the songs had a very compressed-sounding vocal and relied way too much on the canned beats that commercial R&B singers like Brandy used.) Has that changed at all? Which album is a good one with which to start?
posted by pxe2000 at 5:05 AM on May 23, 2009


I remember that Frou Frou song from Garden State, and I've liked all of her solo stuff that I've heard, but I never took the plunge. She's definitely on the list though, and moving higher!
posted by danb at 5:07 AM on May 23, 2009


Decimask: "I've always marked her down as a studio performer, though, at least with stuff like Hide & Seek. I don't know enough about what she does to say why, exactly, but I wasn't overly impressed with the snippets of live stuff I've seen."




This is where I fall on the appreciation scale.


Glee: "Decimask, you must be one of those impossible-to-[overly]-impress people. Or maybe I'm just the opposite. First time I saw that video I was dumbstruck."
posted by defenestration at 6:51 AM on May 23, 2009


I remember that Frou Frou song from Garden State...

After I saw the preview for Garden State, which featured a bit of that song, I immediately went and bought the soundtrack and her CD.
posted by odinsdream at 10:53 AM on May 23, 2009


Her Twitter feed is a delight to read. She updates it herself and constantly, and it's an interesting insight not only into the daily routine but the recording process.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:25 AM on May 23, 2009


Anyone else getting, like 2fps from that ustream.tv link/player? It's unwatchable.
posted by bz at 7:15 PM on May 23, 2009


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