Part cool 'n' collected statuesque beauty, part thrilled eight year old, Imogen Heap is struggling to contain her excitement. "For the last year, I've had a mission to accomplish," says the former Frou Frou lass, kicking her pink stiletto-ed heels with joy. From the pride glowing from the songwriter's grin, it's clear "Operation Imogen" has been a resounding success. After twelve months of graft in her studio, the bubbly twenty-seven year-old is finally poised to release the glorious 'Speak For Yourself''. Filled with grace and passion, and loaded with hooks, it's a captivating Bjork meets pop-Squarepusher gem of a record and the thoroughly deserving source of her exhilaration.
Following on from her 1998 debut 'I Megaphone' and her 2002 Frou Frou collaboration with Guy Sigsworth, 'Details', this is Heap's second release in her own name. But it is her first truly solo album. Out on Heap's own label, Megaphonic, 'Speak For Yourself' has an almighty cast of just one, but it is a triumph of Oscar-winning proportions. Startling lead single "Hide And Seek" is already taking the States by storm. One week after it was played-out in the closing sequence to the season (2) finale of cult drama series 'The O.C.', in a prize slot which last season used Jeff Buckley's heart-rending version of the Leonard Cohen-penned 'Hallelujah', 'Hide And Seek' leapt from No. 98 to No.32 in the Official Billboard Hot 100 Download Chart, making Imogen the No.1 Electronic Act on the chart. Impressively, the track ï¿½ which was only available on iTunes as oppose to the many music sites which make up the Download Chart ï¿½ sold 9,700 copies as a download in one week alone, and more impressively, gave Megaphonic the only independently-released track in the entire Hot 100 chart that week.
With the album done and dusted, Heap can't help but revel in her serendipity. "Ever since I decided to do this on my own, great things have come my way," she says sitting back in her fluffy studio chair. Not withstanding her star-struck surveyor, other factors have also seemingly conspired in her favour. Last year, Scrubs-star Zach Braff personally selected the Frou Frou track 'Let Go' for the soundtrack to his critically acclaimed indie-hit and directorial debut, 'Garden State', helping fuel the Imogen Heap fire. Musical directors across a variety of television outlets have clamoured for her tracks; in addition to 'The OC', 'CSI' and 'Six Feet Under' have also featured her music and LA's influential KCRW station is already spot-playing album tracks. For a couple of months before release "Speak For Yourself" has been floating in and around the music business and a few household names have been in touch with Heap since hearing 'Speak For Yourself", hoping to book her for knob-twiddling duties. "I thought I might like to get into producing other artists records one day but it seems one day is already here and I'm really enjoying it".