First Train Home

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"First Train Home"
Single by Imogen Heap
from the album Ellipse
Released July 10, 2009 (radio)
July 14, 2009 (digital)
Format Digital
Genre Electronica, ambient
Length 4:13 (album version)
3:34 (radio edit)
Label Megaphonic
Writer(s) Imogen Heap
Producer(s) Imogen Heap
Imogen Heap singles chronology
"Not Now But Soon"
(2008)
"First Train Home"
(2009)
"My Secret Friend"
(2009)
Music video
"First Train Home" on YouTube

"First Train Home" is a song by British singer/songwriter Imogen Heap, and the only single off her third solo album Ellipse.

Background[edit]

Imogen Heap revealed a story behind the creation of the song in a few interviews. She claimed:[1]

"I was trying to project manage my studio, and the house and moving in never having done anything like that before is EXTREMELY stressful. [...] I was so stressed out. So my friend rang me up and said “I never see you anymore, why don’t you come down, you’re not making the record yet – come down”. So I went down to Brighton and all the way on the train I was making phone calls, and I wanted to just be back home working on it. [...] So we went out this festival – it was good – but being around music made me even more jittery like I should be doing more and getting home. I didn’t really have a good night really. I was trying so hard to be into the night and they were all nice people and everything but I just wasn’t into it, but I just couldn’t escape and I couldn’t get home and it was too late and lived three hours away. So I was stuck [...] Literally, you just want to scream and slap everyone around (not really slapping everyone around - joking), but you know you just don’t want to be there. Panic attack set in. Cold sweats. And I just wanted to get on the first train home basically. I did eventually – got the first train home, stayed up all night and wrote the song on the piano at home really quickly. What’s lovely about it is that I recorded the song in the studio which is directly underneath the dining room where the piano is. And then yesterday [says very excitedly], I filmed the video for it which is where I wrote the song!"

Premiere[edit]

The song premiered on Santa Monica's KCRW radio station[2] on July 10 at 10:30 PDT, accompanying a ten minute interview with Heap. Within hours the song was uploaded onto multiple websites.

Release[edit]

"First Train Home" was released through iTunes US and iTunes Canada on July 14, with the option to pre-order the full album Ellipse or its deluxe version. The song was released on other iTunes internationally on July 15, also giving the option to pre-order Ellipse or its deluxe version.[3]

The song was also released onto Amazon.com on July 14 and Amazon.co.uk on July 15.

Music video[edit]

There are two versions of the video for First Train Home.

Imogen Heap caught in a zoetrope in the first version of the music video.

First version[edit]

The first one was premiered on August 17 and directed by Es Devlin.[4] The video shows Imogen trapped in a zoetrope running through various hallways, through people holding drinks and speaking, some of them almost transparent. The video features a change of different camera angles and perspectives.[5] The video shoot took place on June 29 and 30.[6][7]

Second version[edit]

As Imogen was not happy with the result she decided to direct herself an alternative video for the song.[8][9] The shoot took place on August 15 at the artist's house.[10][11] The video shows Imogen surrounded by many party-goers in a fancy dress.

Live performances[edit]

Imogen Heap performed the song for the very first time live on the Late Show with David Letterman. The episode was taped on August 24 and aired August 28.[12][13]

She also played the track live on WNYC's show Soundcheck along with another "Ellipse" song, "Half Life" on August 25.[14]

Charts[edit]

The song debuted straight at number one on the P*Chart on August 30, knocking off The Black Eyed Peas's "I Gotta Feeling" from the pole position after six consecutive weeks of reign and remaining atop for another week.

Year Chart Peak position
2009 Canadian Top 100[15] 63
Preceded by
"I Gotta Feeling" by The Black Eyed Peas
P*Chart number-one single

August 30, 2009 - September 6, 2009

Succeeded by
"Run This Town" by Jay-Z featuring Rihanna & Kanye West

Track listing[edit]

Digital Download, Bundle 1
No. Title Length
1. "First Train Home"   4:13
Digital Download, Bundle 2
No. Title Length
1. "First Train Home"   4:12
2. "First Train Home (Jon Hopkins remix)"   3:06
iTunes Store Bonus Videos
No. Title Length
3. "First Train Home (Immi's party version)"   3:33
4. "Making of First Train Home (Immi's party version)"   2:51

References[edit]

  1. ^ "EQ Music Blog: EQ Interview With Imogen Heap Part One - "Literally, you just want to scream and slap everyone around"". Zxlcreative.blogs.com. 2009-08-15. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  2. ^ Imogen Heap surprise interview. KCRW. July 10, 2009.
  3. ^ "iTunes - Music - Ellipse (Bonus Track Version) by Imogen Heap". Itunes.apple.com. 2009-08-21. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  4. ^ "Twitter / The Hideaway Team!: Check back on monday for t". Twitter.com. 2009-08-11. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  5. ^ "Imogen Heap, 'First Train Home' - Video Premiere - Spinner Canada". Spinner.ca. 2009-08-17. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  6. ^ "Twitter / Imogen Heap: On the way over to the Fir". Twitter.com. 2009-06-28. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  7. ^ "Twitter / Imogen Heap". Twitter.com. 2009-06-29. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  8. ^ "Twitter / Imogen Heap: Afternoon all. Today you'r". Twitter.com. 2009-08-17. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  9. ^ "Twitter / Imogen Heap: A recent add for the to do". Twitter.com. 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  10. ^ "Twitter / Imogen Heap: The video shoot was so muc". Twitter.com. 2009-08-14. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  11. ^ "Twitter / The Hideaway Team!: OH! well, looks like it's". Twitter.com. 2009-08-16. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  12. ^ "Imogen Heap tweets about performance on Letterman". Tweeter.com. August 24, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Imogen Heap performing "First Train Home" on "Late Show with David Letterman". TeleHeap.us. August 24, 2009. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Imogen performs 'First Train Home' and 'Half Life' live on WNYC's Soundcheck.". New York City, NY, USA. August 25, 2009. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Imogen Heap - First Train Home - Music Charts". Acharts.us. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 

External links[edit]