I Megaphone, Imogen Heap's debut album, was released by Almo in 1998, featuring influences that ranged from Kate Bush (to whom she was frequently compared) to Annie Lennox to Björk. Although some tracks were self-produced, I Megaphone also found Heap working with three different producers -- David Kahne, Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics' fame), and Guy Sigsworth -- the latter of whom kept in touch with Heap after the album's release. In the early 2000s, Sigsworth and Heap worked together once again, this time sharing equal responsibilities in the collaborative project Frou Frou. Despite the duo's lighthearted name, Frou Frou utilized electronics to create an atmospheric, dreamy, and nuanced sound. MCA/Universal signed the group in 2001, thus putting Heap's solo career on temporary hiatus.
Frou Frou released Details in 2002, with "Breath In" serving as the album's first single. Two years later, a wider audience discovered Frou Frou's music when "Let Go" was included in the award-winning Garden State soundtrack. Frou Frou had already disbanded by this point, however, and Heap had begun returning her focus to her solo career. She released Speak for Yourself in 2005, gaining notice for such singles as "Hide & Seek" (an a cappella song that utilized a digital harmonizer) and "Goodnight and Go." Ellipse, her third studio album, which she recorded in locations including Japan, Thailand, China, and her home studio, appeared in 2009. The success of the record led to Heap taking home the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) the following year.
Work began on her fourth album began in 2011 when she requested her fans send her "sound seeds," which included samples of every day sounds, that Heap repurposed to create the single "Lifeline." Many other projects followed and Heap continued to explore the uses of new technologies; "Propeller Seeds" explored the use of 3-D audio effects. A total of 13 tracks were released over a three-year period, and were collated for her fourth album, Sparks, which was due for release in 2014. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi