Newcastle songwriter IMOGEN returns today with her boldest song yet. It’s called “Bloodbag” and finds her building from the skeletal piano-and-voice that she emerged with into something majestic. It was inspired by a surgery that she underwent, and she says:
“I wanted to write something that depicted the feeling of being out of kilter with yourself – grasping for some sort of control over your own mind, body, existence. I took my literal experiences and used them as imagery to explain some complicated feelings, what happened in the end was an exorcism.”
Indeed, “Bloodbag”, despite having some quite bodily imagery (not least the title), plays more like a melodramatic song of broken heartedness – bordering on anger. IMOGEN’s piano and voice still form the core, her chords buffeting through the song like tempestuous waves battering the coast, setting the foundation for the songwriter to attack her knot of feelings with no shortage of emphasis and catharsis. Whether she’s singing to her body or a lover – or a combination between the two – IMOGEN makes us hang on every word, her voice magnificently relaying the stark imagery: “You were cursed that morning / The bed was on fire and you didn’t bat an eyelid.” Bass synth oozes in like a rush of blood to the head, IMOGEN pushes her voice to its most powerful in a wordless ejaculation of pain and pure feeling, a brass fanfare swoops in like its heralding a king’s army, all swirling together into a whirlpool – then it suddenly vanishes. After that astonishing crescendo, all that’s left are IMOGEN’s multiple voices and spindly piano as she leaves us with a somewhat cryptic desire: “I hope you come back / Re-root replace / Reason with the ground again.”
Watch the video for “Bloodbag” below or listen to it on streaming platforms.