Imogen Heap is a famous alternative singer from Essex, England. She began writing music as a teenager, having learned to play and taught herself to play many instruments as a teenager.
She got her start in recording music as a guest vocalist for the band Acacia
. After Acacia ended, she released her first solo album, i Megaphone
. However, despite its popularity, record problems and budget issues resulted in her being dropped from her record label. She began collaborating with Guy Sigsworth, Acacia's programmer and keyboard player. Forming the duo Frou Frou
, they released a single album, Details
, in 2002. After getting dropped from their label, Imogen created her second solo album, Speak For Yourself
in 2005, and followed it with Ellipse
in 2009. Since then, she's been working on her fourth album.
A large part of her popularity comes from the presence of "Let Go", Frou Frou's Signature Song
, in the movie Garden State
, and the use of "Hide and Seek" — first in the season 2 finale of The O.C.
, then in the 'Dear Sister' skit on Saturday Night Live
, and finally in Jason Derulo
's song 'Whatcha Say'. Unfortunately, the latter has led to many people only knowing her for "Hide and Seek". Given her worldwide popularity, this is sure to change.
- iMegaphone (1998)
- Speak for Yourself (2005)
- Ellipse (2009)
- Sparks (2014)
Imogen Heap provides examples of the following tropes:
- Abusive Parents: "Little Bird" (probably).
- Age Progression Song: "The Listening Chair". Each minute of the song represents 7 years of her life, and she has stated that she plans to continue adding minutes to the song every 7 years until Author Existence Failure stops her.
- Apocalyptic Log: "The Walk". It presents falling in love by someone who doesn't want to as trying and failing to fend off an unstoppable invading force.
- Anti-Love Song: "I Am in Love with You", "The Walk", possibly "Loose Ends".
- Audience Participation Song: "Hide and Seek" and "Just for Now".
- Auto-Tune: She uses a vocoder on "Hide and Seek" in order to sing multi-part harmony with herself.
- Best Served Cold: "Getting Scared", which is about someone who was bullied for years as a child and gets revenge on their tormenter.
- Big Screwed-Up Family: "Just for Now".
- Blackmail: "A-Ha!"
- Body Double: "Bad Body Double", obviously.
- Breakup Song: "Loose Ends" is about the slow, quiet dissolution of a relationship.
- Careful With That Axe: "Leave Me to Love". It sounds like a demon got inside the recording studio.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander
- Downer Ending: Speak for Yourself, a quite peppy, quirky album, ends with the slow, dramatic and somewhat scary "The Moment I Said It".
- Early Installment Weirdness: Every fan she gained thanks to the one-two punch of Frou Frou's "Let Go" and her own "Hide and Seek" were shocked that her first album, released in 1998, was standard alternative rock fare with a full, growling voice fully evocative of that period.
- Evil Twin: "Bad Body Double".
- Freak Out: Apparently, "First Train Home" was inspired by a minor one.
- Gaia's Lament / Gaia's Vengeance: "Earth", where the earth itself is an annoyed mother chastising humanity, her children.
- Hypocrite: "Aha!"'s first two verses — one is about a man who, while saying he couldn't eat wheat, or meat, or dairy (because of his own choices, not because of allergies), later ate a chocolate biscuit containing wheat and dairy, knowing its contents. Imogen wasn't amused (especially since she'd just taken a huge amount of care to make him a dinner he could eat). The second verse is about one of her neighbours, who, despite being an environmental activist, wanted to cut down a tree so he could see his car. Imogen really wasn't amused. The third verse is about a murderer.
- Instrumentals: The deluxe version of Ellipse featured a second disc containing the entire album in this form. Since "The Fire" was already an instrumental, Heap removed the piano solo leaving just the crackling fire.
- She did it again with Sparks.
- Last Note Nightmare: Both the beginning and ending to "Leave Me to Love".
- "The Listening Chair". Good Lord.
- Lie Back and Think of England: Cleverly inverted in "Tidal". Heap implores her lover to make love with her, saying that they have nothing to lose if it they split later.
"Do it for England
Do it for Love
Do it for us, do it for goodness' sake
Do it for all the times we wished we had."
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Goodnight and Go" (a silly, happy song about being infatuated with someone to the point that you're stalking them), "Getting Scared" (a slow but upbeat song about a girl getting revenge on her childhood tormenter), and "Shine" (which is thought to be about someone who is going to commit suicide but finally decides not to, and to keep going with their life), among others.
- "Loose Ends", "Angry Angel", "I Am in Love with You", "Clear the Area", "Little Bird", "Bad Body Double", "Wait It Out"...
- Lyrical Tic: She was rather fond of "da da oom" early on, which showed up in "Not You Again" and in the iMegaphone songs "Candlelight" and "Angry Angel", among others.
- New Sound Album: And how. iMegaphone is a fairly straightforward alt-rock album, evocative of early PJ Harvey. Speak for Yourself and everything she's produced since is much more electronic and ethereal. She even sings in a very different voice.
- Obsession Song: "Goodnight and Go" is a very sweet song... But there's one part in particular...
You've got your headphones on and you're dancing
Got lucky, beautiful shot
You're taking everything off
Watch the curtains, wide open
And you fall in the same routine
Flicking through the TV
Relaxed and reclining
And you think you're alone..."
- Also, quite possibly "Swoon".
- Perishing Alt Rock Voice
- Precision F-Strike: Since Heap rarely uses curse words, it's a big deal when she does use them.
"Leave Me to Love": "I got you a murky light, tell me what can you see? / A huge cloud of shit, hanging over me"
"Bad Body Double": "We look very similar except she's got some grays and a little extra weight on the sides and dimply thighs, I hear that stuff's a bitch to get rid of."
- Purple Prose: Ellipse saw Heap turning this trope into an art form, to express intangible feelings via concrete sentences.
Slapping someone obnoxious in "First Train Home": "This is an echo game / Irises retreating to ovals of white / The urge to feel your face and blood rushing to paint / My handprint".
Waking up beside her lover in "Between Sheets": "The many windswept yellow stickies of my mind / Or the molten emotional front line / I couldn't care less I'm transfixed in this absolute bliss".
- Scatting: She loves this trope.
- Scenery Porn: "Propeller Seeds" uses "3D" sound to create an aural version of this trope.
- Significant Anagram: iMegaphone -> Imogen Heap.
- Stalker with a Crush: "Goodnight and Go".
- Statuesque Stunner: She's six feet tall.
- Sweet Dreams Fuel: "Can't Take It In", the song she made for the soundtrack from The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe.
- Teacher/Student Romance: "Come Here Boy", formed from a crush she had on a music teacher.
- Unlimited Wardrobe: She has one to rival Lady Gaga. More recently, at the Grammys, she wore a dress that displayed the Twitter messages of fans.
- Who's Laughing Now?: The viewpoint character of "Getting Scared" has had enough and goes after her bully. And she's going to enjoy it.
- Word Salad Lyrics: "Lifeline", "Tidal" and "Daylight Robbery", though they still convey quite a lot of meaning in an almost Carrollian fashion.