IMOGEN returns with flashy and darkly imposing new single “Sleeptight”

Somehow Newcastle songwriter IMOGEN has been managing to outdo herself with each subsequent release. We’ve already had the the excellent “Lioncub” and “Bloodbag“, but now she has a new single, “Sleeptight”. Continuing her impressive and stark streak of songs exploring the agency women have over their bodies, “Sleeptight” offers the viewpoint of victims whose words are left unbelieved. Speaking about her new single, IMOGEN Says:

“‘Sleeptight’ deals with the societal treatment of women’s bodies and the reluctance we have to believe women’s accounts of misconduct. The premise being ‘if you don’t believe me, I hope it haunts you.’

It was a conscious decision to set this anger against a big pop track. I guess I found the easiest way to process and deliver the message was to create something that people could dance and lose themselves to. My favourite pop songs are often like Trojan horses. In ‘Sleeptight’ I want people to be able to find empowerment and release. It’s definitely one of my favourite tracks to perform live.

The poppier production is the first thing that strikes different, IMOGEN creating a sense of wide open space during the verse, but snatching it back into the palm of her hand during the swirling chorus. There’s a stormy grind to the percussion, and she bring an impassioned vocal turn that makes a phrase like “I want you to dream about me / The way he put himself on me” a deeply chilling demand that sounds destined to haunt even the innocent listener. The video matches suit with it’s nightmarish styling, moving from a literal interpretation of shadowy figures haunting a restless, sleeping IMOGEN, to her moving to a Lynchian red curtained stage to take on her naysayers. Her wry, assured smile speaks volumes in itself, and makes her declarations of “bring it to the stands / bring it to the dogs” a menacing invitation offset by the song’s distressing topic.

Check out the Harv Frost-directed video below.

IMOGEN’s Bloodbag EP comes out on 28th October, after launching at Bermondsey Social Club the previous day. Tickets for the Bloodbag EP launch are available here. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.