EP Review: Imogen Halsey – Surrender

Based in London, Imogen Halsey is an indie pop singer songwriter who has just released her debut three track EP Surrender. Designed as an introduction to her work as an artist and multi-instrumentalist, I decided to give it a listen and learn a bit more about her.

By Graeme Smith

Feature Photo by Andy Brown Photography

Imogen draws from a range of genres in her music, from modern pop to classical. She writes and performs on guitar, piano and cello and that alone is enough to get me excited about her music. Yet, what struck me most about her sound from the first few bars of EP opener Here To Stay was her captivating, charming vocals and uplifting lyrics. Drawing together elements of RnB, soul and pop, the track is an easy listen.

Track two Monday brings a different tone but loses nothing that Here To Stay introduced. Ostensibly a love song, the story is rich with detail and Imogen really lets her vocal range shine. Electronic elements and percussion provide an unexpected twist to the composition before a cinematic-feeling instrumental breakdown ramps up the emotion.

The EP is rounded off by its title track. Previously featured on BBC Introducing Berkshire, it’s certainly a record highlight. Opening with mournful strings, it leans more towards Imogen’s classical and folk influences. Imogen’s vocals are at their most vulnerable here, singing over slow, deliberate and stripped back percussion, reflecting the emotional story of the lyrics. The best is saved for last, with the arrangement and vocals increasing with intensity towards its climactic finish.

Surrender is a wonderful introduction to an artist who I’m looking forward to hearing more from. It takes a lot of work to make music sound this effortless. Imogen is certainly one to watch. She’s bringing something really fresh to the pop world. You can check out the full EP below.