It’s official: as of yesterday, Imogen Heap’s long-awaited new album has a name and a release date. Sparks is set to be released on March 3rd, 2014, and a pretty incredible deluxe box set has also been announced for earlier release on February 24th.
It’s a massive work, two-and-a-half years in the making, and draws together all the various musical projects that Imogen has undertaken in that time, such as her journey to India (during which she wrote the song “Minds Without Fear”) and her six-week residency in Hangzhou, China (where she wrote and recorded “Xizi She Knows”).
This is the first time Imogen has released a box set edition of an album, and has gone to great lengths to make each one feel organic, heart-felt and personal. She has, quite literally, blended together all the various objects she used in the creation of the album – bricks, paper, even a slinky – and pulped them into sheets of hand-made paper, so that box set owners will each own a physical piece of her efforts.
The box also includes interactive lyric cards that will unlock exclusive areas of her website, art books, booklets for each track, vinyl recordings of the album, and more.
Imogen is known for the extremely close relationship she shares with her fans, often inviting their direct feedback, sharing with them all the steps of her creative process, and even collaborating with them musically on some of her songs. It’s no surprise, then, that this box set release includes a very personal touch – anyone who purchases the limited edition of Sparks can use their special hand-made paper to gain access to the sound check at any of her shows and meet her personally, and the first hundred people to pre-order will be invited to her house to celebrate the album’s launch once it is released.
But of course, Imogen herself will explain this to you in her own whimsical way – here’s the official announcement video.
I’ve been besotted with Imogen Heap’s unique acoustic/electronic sound ever since discovering her first album, iMegaphone, some years ago; many of you may have heard songs such as “Hide and Seek” or “Let Go” used in various films and TV shows. She’s one of three musical artists I would happily take a bullet for. If you’re not familiar with her music, check it out on iTunes or YouTube – search for Frou Frou while you’re there, her early musical collaboration with Guy Sigsworth.
And of course, expect a full review here on Say it with Sangria when the album is released.