Thursday, July 27, 2006

I Heart Frou Frou

In 1998, Heap was introduced to Sigsworth whilst writing and recording her debut album, i Megaphone, which was released on the now-defunct Almo Sounds. Sigsworth had previously worked as part of a band, called Acacia, and had written and produced for artists, such as Seal, but it was his work with Björk that brought him to the attention of Heap and her label. Together they wrote the first single to be taken from i Megaphone, the angst-ridden "Getting Scared," which Sigsworth also produced, and the B-side to the album's second single, "Shine," entitled "Airplane." Heap went on to tour i Megaphone internationally, promoting the record, whilst Sigsworth contiuned to write and produce for other artists, including Madonna and Lamb, as well as remaining a member of Acacia.

Heap and Sigsworth kept in contact, remaining friends, and in 2001, having been held in limbo by her record label for a year (despite her second album being written and ready to record), Heap begun collaborating on new tracks with Sigsworth. The initial idea was that Sigsworth would put together an album, featuring tracks written and produced by him alongside a singer, songwriter, poet or rapper, to be released under the name "Frou Frou." Heap's record label was bought and disbanded, leaving her without a record contract, and Sigsworth himself was also having record label issues, as his band, Acacia was being ignored. Heap explains that Sigsworth invited her over to his studio, to write lyrics to a four-bar motif he had, with one condition - that she include the word "love" somewhere. The first line she came up with was "lung of love, leaves me breathless," and the Details album track, "Flicks," was born. A week later, Sigsworth phoned her up again, and together they wrote and recorded "Breathe In," and it happened again and again, until nearly half the album was completed. In December 2001, they made the conscious decision to form a duo together. Their first official release as "Frou Frou" was a remix of "Airplane" - renamed "Aeroplane" - they had completed for the Japanese re-release of Heap's debut album.

The name "Frou Frou" (pronounced "froo froo") is derived from the 1870 Rimbaud poem, "Ma Bohème," and is French onomatopoeia for the swishing noise made by skirts on dancing women. Sigsworth, a fan of all things French, had come up with the name and Heap thought it was fitting, so they decided to record together under the name.

In 2002 the duo signed a record deal with Universal Records, on the Island Records imprint in the UK and Europe, and MCA Records in the USA. They released their first, and sole, album Details in August 2002. Featuring a wide range of electronica, with elements of trip-hop, pop and rock, the eclectic, intricately produced tracks use a wide range of organic instruments from cellos, autoharps, guitars, keyboards, and Indian drums, with layered vocals from Heap.
The album received critical acclaim, but this did not translate into the mass sales the duo had hoped for. "Breathe In" was released as the first single internationally, and reached number two on the Italian radio airplay charts, and debuted in the top 50 in the UK singles charts, but the follow up singles "Must Be Dreaming" and "It's Good To Be In Love" were shelved from commercial release in the UK, due to lack of radio and TV interest.

A video was also made for a fourth single from the album; the closer, "The Dumbing Down Of Love", directed by Joel Peissig (who later directed Heap's solo video "Hide and Seek"). After touring the record extensively across the United States, where the duo had established a cult fan base, having received extensive airplay on KCRW, Frou Frou disbanded in 2003. [SOURCE: Wikipedia]

Download each track from their album "Details" below. I also included their version of "Holding Out For A Hero" for the Shrek Soundtrack.

01. Frou Frou - Let Go
02. Frou Frou - Breathe In
03. Frou Frou - It's Good To Be In Love
04. Frou Frou - Must Be Dreaming
05. Frou Frou - Psychobabble
06. Frou Frou - Only Got One
07. Frou Frou - Ssh
08. Frou Frou - Hear me out
09. Frou Frou - Maddening Shroud
10. Frou Frou - Flicks
11. Frou Frou - The Dumbing Down Of Love
12. Frou Frou - Old Piano
*** Frou Frou - Holding Out For A Hero (Bonnie Tyler cover)


Kai said...

Random passerby here. I love Frou Frou too! I just adore every song. Do you like Jem too? Taegan and Sara, KT Tunstall, and the likes? Haha, I apologize for my giddiness. I just like it whenever I see somebody who has the same taste in music as I do, and that's not too often. (;

MrDJ said...

I LOVE THEM ALL AS WELL! Add Imogen Heap (Well.. since I love Frou Frou as well), Rachel Yamagata, and Regina Spektor!

Yowee said...

I adore Frou Frou. thank you for generously sharing your file. ^^ have a great day. ^^

Anonymous said...

hi ...
Cant dwl :(
Had expired perhaps :(
Can help ? I wanna dwl Frou Frou...
email me