It's a bit too easy to write off Britain's Imogen Heap. Catch her latest single, "First Train Home," on the radio and you might assume she's just another in a long line of wispy, throaty singers with a secret yearning for some far-off place, dulcet words echoing over top-of-the-line electronic production provided by somebody else entirely.
Not so. As fans know, Heap has been doing her thing for more than a decade, and it truly is her thing. The classically trained pianist counts among her influences Annie Lennox, Kate Bush, and Björk, and a little bit of each (well, a lot of Lennox) appears on her latest album, Ellipse. What's more, witness Heap perform live and you'll see the skill and originality she brings to her medium. With a Monome (the open-source beat machine pioneered by experimental music producer Daedelus) in her lap, she loops keys, voice, and digitalia into glitchy soundscapes on par with Dntel's poppier output.