Hide and Seek (Imogen Heap song)
"Hide and Seek" is a song recorded by English singer Imogen Heap. The song was released on 19 May 2005 as the first single from her second album Speak for Yourself, and was written and produced by Heap.
|"Hide and Seek"|
|Single by Imogen Heap|
|from the album Speak for Yourself|
|Released||19 May 2005|
|Imogen Heap singles chronology|
The song is an a cappella folktronica ballad which makes heavy use of the harmonizer, written about painfully losing someone. It first gained popularity after being used in the season two finale of the Fox television series The O.C., and in a subsequent Saturday Night Live parody of the scene, The Shooting. It was notably sampled in the 2009 single "Whatcha Say" by American singer Jason Derulo, which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "Hide and Seek" went on to sell over 647,000 copies in the United States, earning it a gold certification from the RIAA. It was also a critical success, and has been cited by several critics as Heap's best song.
Heap performed "Hide and Seek" during the 2017 benefit concert One Love Manchester and during her 2019 performance on NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts series. The song also appeared on NPR's 2018 list of The 200 Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women+.
Background and releaseEdit
"Hide and Seek" was recorded during a late-night studio session, where Heap decided to record her voice using the "vocoder" setting on a DigiTech Vocalist Workstation harmonizer after her computer died.
During the making of "Hide and Seek", Heap said she found the song "so self indulgent" and believed that no one would enjoy it. Although she was frequently told during recording that "something was missing" from it, she decided to release it after sending it to a friend who called it "genius" and "the most amazing thing he had ever heard".
"Hide and Seek" is an a cappella folktronica song. Heap uses a keyboard-controlled digital harmonizer (similar to a vocoder) on the song to generate distorted harmonies of her voice, lending the song its altered a cappella sound. It is a ballad whose lyrics are about having painfully lost someone and how others react to things that happen to someone else. Fans have speculated that the song was written about the divorce of Heap's parents at age 12. The song ends with a sample of a train passing by. Heap described the song as one which "doesn't connect to a genre, it's completely open", adding "It's full of color, but it's colorless. It's full of meaning, but it has no meaning. It has so much for you as the listener to identify with it and fill in the gaps." Stereogum's Margaret Farrell wrote that the song's vocal effects make Heap "sound possessed with disquieting misery, bubbling to an overdose where she sounds occasionally alien".
Critical reception and legacyEdit
"Hide and Seek" received critical acclaim upon its release. Writing for The New York Times, Laura Sinagra wrote that "Hide and Seek" was "the ghostly pièce de résistance" of Speak for Yourself, adding that the song "suggest[s] a kind of lovesick cyborg alienation, an almost disembodied, distinctly modern malaise". Sophie Heawood of The Guardian referred to the song as "extraordinary", describing its use of vocal layering as "startling" albeit with a "Marmite-style love-or-hate effect on listeners". For Pitchfork, David Raposa identified "Hide and Seek" as the "black sheep" of Speak for Yourself, writing, "It's gorgeous, it's impressive, it's grandiose, and it's barely there at all — just Heap's voice darting and divebombing, making itself scarce, disappearing into itself." The Skinny's Dave Reid suggested that "Hide and Seek" "threatens to put the rest of the album in the shade". Jeff Vrabel of PopMatters wrote that the song was "uniformly gorgeous" with "no beat required", adding, "Its sonic trickery makes the song lap itself; there's so much synthetic beauty in there that it comes off sounding organic anyway."
Since its release, "Hide and Seek" has continued to garner acclaim, with many critics identifying it as Heap's best song. NPR placed "Hide and Seek" at number 147 on their list of The 200 Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women+, writing that the song was "the stand-out gem of [Heap's] illustrious career". On Stereogum's Farrell's list of Heap's best songs, "Hide and Seek" was named as Heap's best song, with Farrell writing, "'Hide And Seek' is Imogen Heap’s most devastating and haunting track to date. Whether heard via a choice sync by a music supervisor or a chance encounter over a streaming service, the song lingers for days or even years." KCMP included the song on their list of "893 Essential Songs" at number 494. Matt Moen of Paper referred to "Hide and Seek" as "Heap's greatest hit" which "not only has paved the way for the judicious use of the vocoder as an emotional vocal treatment in today's top 40 but has been objectively one of the strangest songs to weave its way into our cultural fabric." For The Ringer, Lindsay Zoladz wrote, "Imogen Heap rarely gets credit for the ripple effects that 'Hide and Seek' sent through the pop mainstream," adding that the song was "indebted" to Laurie Anderson's "O Superman" and Daft Punk's 2001 album Discovery.
Covers, remixes, and samplesEdit
Jason Derulo's 2009 single "Whatcha Say" prominently sampled Heap's song in its chorus after Derulo and producer J. R. Rotem chose to use the sample. In the United States, the single topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
On the fifth season of Australian reality competition series Australian Idol, finalist Ben McKenzie performed the song on the season's fourth episode. British alternative rock band Fightstar covered the song as a B-side to their single, "The English Way", in 2008. American metal band And Then There Were None covered the song in 2009. In 2010, Canadian guitarist Antoine Dufour recorded a solo guitar version of the song. British a cappella ensemble The King's Singers included a cover of the song on their 2010 album Swimming Over London. In 2010 and 2011, respectively, Dutch DJ Afrojack and Swedish DJ Otto Knows, released remixes of the song. In 2012, English pop rock band The Dunwells released a cover of the song on their EP Leaving the Rose. A trance remix of the song by Dutch DJ Ferry Corsten was released in 2013. American DJ Slushii released a future bass remix of the song in 2018.
Appearance in mediaEdit
"Hide and Seek" gained immense popularity after being featured during the climax of the 2005 season two finale of the The O.C.. After director Norman Buckley was given a copy of Speak for Yourself by music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas, Buckley suggested to creator Josh Schwartz that he listen to the album early on in the season. Schwartz then decided that "Hide and Seek" would be used in the season finale. The song was originally written to be played during the funeral scene of Caleb Nichol. It was eventually decided that the song would instead be used in the climax of the episode, wherein Marissa Cooper shoots Trey Atwood, during an altercation between Atwood and his brother, Ryan Atwood. The use of the song in the episode received praise from critics: Vulture's Lindsey Weber called it "the most obviously important" musical moment on the show, while Celina Torrijos of Much stated, "Most fans of the show...will cite the scene where Marissa shoots Trey to Imogen Heap’s "Hide And Seek" as the most memorable music moment of the series." Ilana Kaplan of Nylon also included it on her list of the most memorable music moments from the show, calling it "one of the most defining songs of The O.C.," and Angela Law of Popsugar included it on her list of the best songs used in the show. Grant Ridner of Vox described the scene as "infamous" due to its use of the song. Lindsay Zoladz of The Ringer called it "arguably the most absurd and melodramatic shooting scene in the history of televisual media" and "stupid and ridiculous and somehow (largely due to the song) genuinely, deeply moving"; Metro's Emma Kelly wrote that it was "the most memorable track from a series known for its music".
The scene was later parodied in a 2007 Saturday Night Live digital short created by American comedy trio The Lonely Island called The Shooting, which also featured the song. The Cut's Claire Lampen noted that the "infamous" status of "Hide and Seek" was "cemented" by its use in The Shooting. The sketch caused the song to become a popular internet meme, where the song's bridge ("Mmm, whatcha say") would be played over death scenes in television and film. The first parody to gain traction was of a scene from the teen drama series Degrassi: The Next Generation. "Hide and Seek" went on to be featured in the first season of the Hulu series Normal People. Although Maggie Phillips, the music supervisor for Normal People, was initially against using the song due to its association with The O.C. and Saturday Night Live, the song was included in the second episode of the first season by director Lenny Abrahamson during a montage of the two main characters, Marianne and Connell. Its appearance in Normal People in 2020 caused the song to experience a temporary boost in popularity in Ireland, earning six times as many streams in the six weeks following its appearance than it had throughout 2019 and becoming the most-streamed song from the show.
"Hide and Seek" was also adapted to be featured in the West End and Broadway productions of the 2016 play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, for which Heap wrote the music. Listed on the soundtrack album as "Edge of the Forest", it appears during a scene at the edge of the Forbidden Forest and is sung by a choir. It is the only time in the show during which lyrics are heard.
The song also appears in the films The Last Kiss and Warren Miller's Off the Grid. It has also been featured in the series CSI: Miami,[better source needed] So You Think You Can Dance, Smith,[better source needed] Danger Force in season one's eleventh episode "The Thousand Pranks War: Part ll", Nirvanna the Band the Show,[better source needed] and Skam.[better source needed]
"Hide and Seek" was performed live by Heap at One Love Manchester, a benefit concert and television special held in Manchester on 4 June 2017 and organised by Ariana Grande as a tribute to the victims of the bombing at her Manchester Arena concert. The performance was praised by critics, with writers from The Telegraph and NME naming it one of the best moments of the concert. Heap later performed "Hide and Seek" during her performance on NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts series with her Mi.Mu gloves on 20 June 2019, and performed a "jolly" rendition of the song for Royal Albert Hall's Royal Albert Home free virtual concert series on 29 May 2020.
- "Hide And Seek (Radio Edit)" – 3:02
- "Hide And Seek (Album Version)" – 4:29
- "Hide And Seek" – 4:29
- "Cumulus" – 3:34
|Canada Digital Song Sales (Billboard)||57|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||125|
|US Digital Song Sales (Billboard)||37|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||647,000|
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.
|United States||19 May 2005||RCA Victor|
|United Kingdom||26 September 2005||Megaphonic|
- Hodgson, Jay (May 2010). "A field guide to equalisation and dynamics processing on rock and electronica records". Popular Music. Cambridge University Press. 29 (2): 292. doi:10.1017/S0261143010000085. JSTOR 40926923. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- Powers, Genevieve (1 January 2006). "Imogen Heap". Electronic Musician. Archived from the original on 14 September 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
- Farrell, Margaret (9 November 2018). "The 10 Best Imogen Heap Songs". Stereogum. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
- Moen, Matt (8 May 2019). "Imogen Heap: 'I've Never Been Burdened by Fame'". Paper. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
- Sinagra, Laura (13 January 2006). "With Her Synthesizer, She Mesmerizes". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
- "8 sampled tracks behind some of the biggest tunes". BBC. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- White, Jack (11 June 2020). "Normal People: Streaming boost in Ireland for songs featured on hit TV series". Official Charts. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- Powers, Ann (10 August 2014). "First Listen: Imogen Heap, 'Sparks'". NPR. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
- barcodexl. "Imogen Heap Interview". Barcodezine.com. Archived from the original on 24 November 2005. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- Goggins, Joe (3 September 2014). "DiS meets Imogen Heap: "I wanted to live in the moment"". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
- Heawood, Sophie (12 August 2005). "CD: Imogen Heap, Speak for Yourself". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- Raposa, David (31 October 2005). "Imogen Heap: Speak for Yourself". Pitchfork. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- Reid, Dave (16 April 2006). "Imogen Heap - 'Speak for Yourself' | The Skinny". The Skinny. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- Vrabel, Jeff (19 December 2005). "Imogen Heap: Speak For Yourself". PopMatters. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- Kimball, Lindsay (30 July 2018). "The 200 Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women+". NPR. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
- "893 Essential Songs". The Current. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
- Zoladz, Lindsay (1 October 2016). "'Hide and Seek'–ing Is the New Rickrolling". The Ringer. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- Sutherland, Mark (20 June 2009). "Greatest Synchs". Billboard.
- "American single certifications – Imogen Heap – Hide and Seek". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 11 January 2016. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.
- Lipshutz, Jason (5 October 2009). "Heartbreak tale pays off for singer Jason Derulo". Reuters. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- Lockett, Dee (1 April 2019). "8 Songwriters on the Line Between Inspiration and Theft". Vulture. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- Anderson, Kyle (5 November 2009). "Jason Derulo's 'Whatcha Say' Tops The Billboard Hot 100". MTV News. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- Watson, Tara (24 November 2020). "An 'Australian Idol' Contestant Has Spoken Out About Being "Physically Attacked" While On The Show". Punkee. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
- "Fightstar Single Details". Rock Sound Magazine. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- "Free Download Of And Then There Were None's "Hide and Seek" Cover". Tooth & Nail Records. 17 February 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- "Album Review: Back & Forth by Antoine Dufour". The Guitar Journal. 29 November 2018. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- "Imogen Heap's Hide and Seek: the best classical covers". Classic FM. 30 March 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
- "Forgotten Friday: Imogen Heap - Hide And Seek (Otto Knows Remix)". Dancing Astronaut. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- "Imogen Heap - Hide & Seek (Ferry Corsten Bootleg) [Preview]". EDM Sauce. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- Hernandez, Christina (4 June 2018). "Slushii lightens Imogen Heap's 'Hide and Seek' with a future bass rinsing". Dancing Astronaut. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- Lauer, Alex (19 May 2020). "The Bizarre, Unexpected, Neverending Life of Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek"". InsideHook. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
- Highfill, Samantha (29 April 2016). "'The O.C.': 5-minute oral history on the shocking season 2 finale". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
- Weber, Lindsey (6 August 2013). "Vulture's Very Important Ranking of All 6 Soundtracks From The O.C." Vulture. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
- Torrijos, Celina (3 August 2018). "15 Years Later: Artists That Defined 'The O.C.' Soundtrack". Much. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
- Kaplan, Ilana (22 February 2017). "The 20 Most Memorable Music Moments On 'The O.C.'". Nylon. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
- Law, Angela (18 September 2019). "Season 2, Episode 24: "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap". Popsugar Entertainment. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
- Rindner, Grant (15 September 2017). "How music supervisors create iconic TV moments". Vox. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
- Kelly, Emma (27 May 2020). "Imogen Heap on 'unimaginable' life of Hide and Seek from The OC to Normal People". Metro. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
- Serrao, Nivea (12 May 2017). "From The O.C. to Saturday Night Live: How Lonely Island's 'Dear Sister' came about". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- Lampen, Claire (5 May 2020). "What Is *That* Song Doing in Normal People?". The Cut. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
- Knibbs, Kate (14 June 2014). "The complete history of the 'Mmm Whatcha Say' meme". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- McHenry, Jackson (1 May 2020). "How Normal People Chose 13 Key Songs for Marianne and Connell". vulture.com. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- Chapman, Madeleine (28 February 2019). "How the hell did 'Hide and Seek' end up in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?". The Spinoff. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
- McHenry, Jackson (2 November 2018). "How Imogen Heap Created Her Magical Tracks for the Harry Potter Play". Vulture. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
- "Off the Grid Music". Ski Mag. 31 October 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- ""CSI: Miami" If Looks Could Kill (TV Episode 2006)". IMDb.
- Reid, Joe (28 May 2014). "The All-Time Best 'So You Think You Can Dance' Routines in Every Dance Style, Part 1". The Atlantic. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- "Music from Smith S1E01". Tunefind. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- "Music from Nirvanna the Band the Show S1E06". Tunefind. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- ""Skam" Hele skolen hater meg (TV Episode 2015)". IMDb. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- Evans, Alanna (4 June 2017). "Highlights from Ariana Grande's One Love Manchester Concert - FLARE". Flare. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
- "Ariana Grande's One Love Manchester concert: the 10 best moments from last night". The Telegraph. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
- Bartleet, Larry (5 June 2017). "One Love Manchester: 7 transformative music moments". NME. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
- Spruch, Kristen (20 June 2019). "Imogen Heap Brings High-Tech Wizardry To NPR's Tiny Desk Concert: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
- "Imogen Heap Chart History (Hot Canadian Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
- "Imogen Heap – FIMI" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- "H & Claire – Hysterix". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
- "Imogen Heap Chart History (Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
- "British single certifications – Imogen Heap – Hide and Seek". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 9 April 2021.