Images of Imogen – Tash Hagz (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Heartfelt promises, a personal challenge and unlikely inspirations are what drives, multi-instrumentalist and obvious fan of Spoonerisms, Tash Hagz’s first single release. Having made a vow to his father that he would write, record and release a song that was totally of his own creation before he turned 50, it was to the story of Ryan Giggs’ media hyped affair with model Imogen Thomas that he turned for a inspiration for his dark and reflective alt-rock ballad.

But the story starts much further back. As a younger lad he played in everything from rock to blues to folk bands before succumbing, as we all do, to a more sensible and reliable career. But once so infected, blessed even, perhaps cursed, with such sonic passions, music never really leaves the blood and it was always something he tinkered away at in his home studio, amassing a wealth of music, some of which will soon be available in the form of a debut album.

So Images of Imogen is a calling card, a mission statement, a gentle tease and taster of what’s to come perhaps, a minimalistic, keyboard-led ballad which slow burns and effortlessly evolves its way into an alt-rock epic. Harpsichords and acoustic guitars are morphed into six-string electric power-chords, pulsing bass lines and distorted riffs, yet even when in full flow the song dynamic allows enough sonic lulls amid the more sky-scraping highs for the power, poise and poignancy of the lyrics to shine through.



And lyrically too there are plenty of hidden depths to match the hidden shallows of the original story of footballer infidelity. Originally a more complex and multi-facetted song with references to others of the same name (Imogen not Ryan that is), from Ancient Greece to Shakespeare, and although the song was stripped back to a more logical lyrical essence, the ghosts of Imogens past, both mythical and mortal still flit through the song. 

An understated and haunting ballad? A gently growling, gently growing epic? A nod to the past? A taste of what’s to come? A man fulfilling a promise and also reigniting and realising old passions? It’s all of those things. How cool is that? I get the feeling that Tash Hagz could have released cool music in the past but it has taken half a life time of experience and inspiration, life and love, loss and longing, reality and dreaming to percolate together, to stew and infuse, boil and bubble before he could really write a song such as this.

Timing is everything. The timing here is perfect.

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