WHIZZ. POP. BANG!
Imogen Heap’s fourth studio album Sparks has been three years in the making (yes, three). What started out as a project asking fans to send in sound bytes of anything (a washing machine, a running train, etc) has culminated in fourteen gorgeous tracks that draw from multiple genres – trip-hop, new age, dream pop, alternative rock and even EDM (courtesy a collaboration with deadmau5) and Bollywood (courtesy a collaboration with Vishal-Shekhar). While the collaborative tracks are a bit of a let down, the rest of the album truly sparks with Heap’s genius. As a concept album, it fails, owing to no cohesion between tracks, but as a collection of songs, it’s a clear winner.
Imogen Heap – You Know Where To Find Me music video
While Belgian musical collective Hooverphonic, much like Heap, defies genre categorisation, trip-hop is largely their jump-off point. With a female vocalist who can sing at the highest possible pitch and still not sound like a wailing cat, Hooverphonic blends beautiful, soulful sounds with her vocal harmonies.
Hooverphonic – The World Is Mine
Electronic and synthesised music, but never jarring. Norwegian band Röyksopp finds that sweet spot where electronica and ethereal vocals can indeed coexist, conjuring images of whimsy in the minds of listeners.
Royksopp – What Else Is There official video
Enya is the queen of layered harmonies. With minimal instruments – and sometimes none – she uses the power of her mesmerising voice to draw in listeners. Like Heap, Enya plays all her accompanying instruments, often favouring the piano.
Enya – Book of Day official video
A SUNNY DAY IN GLASGOW
This American band is known for its textured yet melodic songs. And as to how they named themselves, co-founder Ever Nalens had been living in Glasgow before returning to Philadelphia in the US where he met the other founder, Ben Daniels, who had also returned to the US from UK. However, Nalens quit the band shortly after.
A Sunny Day in Glasgow – In Love With Useless lyrics