The last couple days on Twitter, it seems some serious beeswax went down concerning Imogen Heap‘s hotly anticipated new album “Ellipse”. A fan noticed a listing for a pre-release press copy of her album for sale on eBay, which is a big big nono. In the ensuing Twitterstorm Immi and her fans took to the listing and managed to bid the errant promo CD up to the delightful amount of ten million pounds. In the end it seems the listing user canceled the ridiculously high bids, while eBay got smart to the violation and took down the listing.
The promo disc was actually labeled for a specific reporter, which made things look extra suspect. Leaking a release for profit could get you blackballed bigtime. In the past, the majors have even gone so far as give reporters CD players that are glued shut with a disc inside to prevent dupes. In any case, the reporter in question says his mail was stolen and his employer is standing behind him. Crisis averted, all is well that ends well… sortof.
The illustrious Thomas Dolby wrote blogged his reaction to this event, and also took that opportunity to convey his distaste for music reviewers in general. (Fortunately, I do not share his feelings about reviewers — perhaps because I haven’t had my heart broken by them yet.) Stereokill.net also picked up the story early, and then updated it to help clear the journalist’s reputation.
I’ve been following Immi’s journey in making her album on Twitter for a while now, and it’s been a comfort to know what there are others (albeit vastly better known) going through some of the same crap I go through making music. The leaking problem however, I am fortunate not to worry about. The good news about being a small indie artist is that nobody WANTS to leak your stuff yet. Leaks only have value if the release is hugely anticipated. That could change, but for the minute, I can happily mail out out unprotected promos to media as I see fit.
If you don’t already know Imogen, do yourself a favour and listen to her last album “Speak for Yourself”. It’s a delicious concoction of synths and earnest girlish vocals — and you know how much I like that.