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Bizarre vocal trend
Old 28th March 2019
  #1
Gear Head
 
GoldenBear's Avatar
Bizarre vocal trend

I've been recording a lot of hipsters over the past few years and almost all of them have this really bizarre singing habit that is driving me crazy!

I'm sure you all have noticed this too.

It's when they add extra vowels to every syllable. For instance, LORDE (who may have popularized this bizarre trend) in her song "Green Light". Sings ..."I do my makeup in somebody else's caourr, we ordered different drinks at the same bwuaures". I will add, that this is both men and women singing like this. At first, I would only hear it here and there, but now I can't escape it and its getting more and more emphasized and glaring! It is so awful. Just about every single person under 25 that comes into the studio tries to sing this way. It takes every bit of my strength not to tell them to stop.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, I discovered this video (which I assume is a joke) describing the technique. YouTube

Thoughts?



Golden Bear Records
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Old 28th March 2019
  #2
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bgood's Avatar
Lol

I wonder if it’s not something that was heard on something like a Brittany Spears album 20 years ago where she’s whisper singing, compressed and auto tuned to within an inch of death... some kid hears it and thinks it’s a signature and starts emulating it as opposed to hearing an anomaly

Similar thing with the weird “croaking” singers tend to do now into words.... it’s weird to me as in the old days it would be a total amateur hour deal... fishing for a note... but... hey, 10,000,000 Elvis (or arianna grande) fans can’t be wrong... right?
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Old 28th March 2019
  #3
Definitely. There's also a weird "R" sound they do - total affectation. Weirdly, now that it's gone so widespread it doesn't bother me as much as when it was creeping in. Go figure.
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Old 28th March 2019
  #4
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

There's also this thing, or maybe it's the same thing, where they do something that's sort of like Cajun. Like when James Taylor sang "choinin' oin a' boinin' funk" only he was kidding and these people aren't. I don' geddit.
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Old 28th March 2019
  #5
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bgood's Avatar
Alanis Morisette did a weird vocal trill that became the rage and still pops up...

There’s probably a zillion others
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Old 28th March 2019
  #6
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

And the guy in Neon Trees who sings like he can't pronounce his r's but you hear him talk and actually can.
Old 28th March 2019
  #7
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bgood's Avatar
It’s funny, I’m imagining a producer of, say, not even 20 years ago working in the modern age, keying the talkback mic “great take... let’s punch back in on just the chorus... I want you to enunciate your Rs more clearly”... talent “f#%} you man... this is part of my brand”... all while he live streams the outrage
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Old 28th March 2019
  #8
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 

Absolutely. It's been a thing for a while but it exploded with Lorde, and is now sort of everywhere.

It's now at the stage where people are starting to make fun of it, which in pop culture time tends to mean it will last about 3–5 more years and then people will be ashamed of it

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Old 28th March 2019
  #9
Gear Addict
Wow that guy nailed it
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Old 28th March 2019
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenBear View Post
I've been recording a lot of hipsters over the past few years
My deepest sympathies.

Quote:
Thoughts?
Music - across the board - has been on a tragic downward spiral for decades. IMO anyone with a clue about music and even a modest amount of objectivity and perspective knows this is stating the obvious, but we rarely say it because so many (clueless) people will dismiss it with some lame "get off my lawn" jokes Small wonder that so-called singers are part of it. I scarcely hear anyone sing anymore that is even good, never mind great. Does even a legit quality vibrato exist anymore?

Oh and you all left one fingernails-on-a-chalkboard habit off the list which has also been around for a long time now: that ridiculous excessive pitch warbling that sounds like a (sick) wailing ghost caught up in an earthquake. And worst of all is how these fools think the more you do it, that means the better singer you are. Typically it's heard more in R&B and the like but Reba McEntire was (in)famous for it among others.
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Old 28th March 2019
  #11
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GoldenBear's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack View Post
Absolutely. It's been a thing for a while but it exploded with Lorde, and is now sort of everywhere.

It's now at the stage where people are starting to make fun of it, which in pop culture time tends to mean it will last about 3–5 more years and then people will be ashamed of it

GROSS! What is that?! Why are they singing that way? It sounds like they had a stroke or something?

Old 28th March 2019
  #12
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenBear View Post
GROSS! What is that?! Why are they singing that way? It sounds like they had a stroke or something?









Everywhere.
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Old 28th March 2019
  #13
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GoldenBear's Avatar
[QUOTE
Everywhere.[/QUOTE]

The worst! Halsey is the worst culprit of that bunch, but there are even a ton of men in the country-music world that are starting to do it. Its actually to the point where I get excited when i hear someone singing normal on the radio haha
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Old 28th March 2019
  #14
Breaks my heart to see boys and girls that young goin' bad....
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Old 28th March 2019
  #15
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lovekrafty's Avatar
 

I think that vocal style comes down to a pretentious attempt to sound more sophisticated and dramatic
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Old 28th March 2019
  #16
Gear Nut
Well since there isn't any vernacular music anymore it's pretty much all pop music. Even traditional genres have been co-opted by good-looking kids trying to sell a few thousand records.

And the # 1 rule of pop music is bringing something different and trendy to the table...so this makes perfect sense.




Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenBear View Post
I've been recording a lot of hipsters over the past few years and almost all of them have this really bizarre singing habit that is driving me crazy!

I'm sure you all have noticed this too.

It's when they add extra vowels to every syllable. For instance, LORDE (who may have popularized this bizarre trend) in her song "Green Light". Sings ..."I do my makeup in somebody else's caourr, we ordered different drinks at the same bwuaures". I will add, that this is both men and women singing like this. At first, I would only hear it here and there, but now I can't escape it and its getting more and more emphasized and glaring! It is so awful. Just about every single person under 25 that comes into the studio tries to sing this way. It takes every bit of my strength not to tell them to stop.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, I discovered this video (which I assume is a joke) describing the technique. YouTube

Thoughts?



Golden Bear Records
Old 28th March 2019
  #17
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IanBSC's Avatar
At least that super flat, no-vibrato, late 00's vocal thing is on it's way out. And nothing is as bad as the Creed/Godsmack Layne Staley rip-off sound.

This style makes me think they tried to combine Guys And Dolls with a New York Puerto Rican accent
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Old 28th March 2019
  #18
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horseface's Avatar
Like others have said, it sounds like they’re slurring in the midst of a stroke to me. And everybody doing it begins to sound more or less the same as one another.

The vocal softening is some kind of comforting infantilism which I think the youngs are very drawn to. They like their music to feel safe, where as a lot of us older folk like an element of danger to our culture.

Rome is burning, so get off my lawn.

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Old 28th March 2019
  #19
Don't even go around any Open Mics!

This is a generational tragedy, I'm telling you.

It's like they don't worry about what the words say, only how they sound coming out.
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Old 28th March 2019
  #20
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horseface's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowder View Post
Don't even go around any Open Mics!

This is a generational tragedy, I'm telling you.

It's like they don't worry about what the words say, only how they sound coming out.
The Max Martin effect?
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Old 28th March 2019
  #21
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowder View Post
It's like they don't worry about what the words say, only how they sound coming out.
I think every generation has a bit of that. "Whiter Shade of Pale," "White Room," "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window."

And a lot of the time I have no idea what James Joyce is talking about, but he sounds sorta like he's making sense when you read him aloud.
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Old 28th March 2019
  #22
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Sigma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by omega75 View Post
Definitely. There's also a weird "R" sound they do - total affectation. Weirdly, now that it's gone so widespread it doesn't bother me as much as when it was creeping in. Go figure.
i'd post the youtube of the "RRRRR" sound in Blackkklansmen but it would get flagged
Old 28th March 2019
  #23
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Funny how this devolved into an old man shouting at clouds kind of thread.

But as a person somewhere between you old timers and these whipper snappers I have to agree on this one. It reminds me of the weird emo voice a lot of folks had in the early 00s.

I have a soft spot for a lot of radio pop and I did enjoy Lorde's last album for the most part. But it is this weird accent that throws me off from fully investing in it.

What it reminds me the most of is the ladies from Cocorosie. I always thought they made some interesting music, but again it was that weird baby voice and accent that kept me from really getting into their music. At least they were weird enough to fully own it.

I'll bet it's one of those trends that will fade soon only to rear it's head again in a decade or so. And so it goes.
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Old 28th March 2019
  #24
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by horseface View Post
The Max Martin effect?
That's a little different -- I think we're hearing the vocalists inadvertently copying the mis-enunciations of Max's Swedish demo singers.
Old 28th March 2019
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horseface View Post
Like others have said, it sounds like they’re slurring in the midst of a stroke to me. And everybody doing it begins to sound more or less the same as one another.

The vocal softening is some kind of comforting infantilism which I think the youngs are very drawn to. They like their music to feel safe, where as a lot of us older folk like an element of danger to our culture.

Rome is burning, so get off my lawn.

Yes it's baby talk. You can see it as safe or you can see it as an advertisement to make babies.
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Old 28th March 2019
  #26
Gear Head
 

going all Chewbacca on any sustained notes
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Old 28th March 2019
  #27
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toledo3's Avatar
 

I know that what is going on now is a distinct phenomenon, but it makes me think of the faux Brit accent that Greenday would use sometimes, or maybe even going back to some of the British acts that played up the accent:



Or how Davy Jones would sing...

“Six o clock ALAHM would never ring...”

Old 28th March 2019
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
I know that what is going on now is a distinct phenomenon, but it makes me think of the faux Brit accent that Greenday would use sometimes, or maybe even going back to some of the British acts that played up the accent:



Or how Davy Jones would sing...

“Six o clock ALAHM would never ring...”


I think you're on to something with this. It's like the 50+ year mutation of a faux British accent.
Old 28th March 2019
  #29
Gear Nut
 

Die Antwoord really popularized this.

As did, Bjork.

It’s some of the non-native speakers inflecting an accent on English.

The natives copy it.

It’s also an act of resistance socially

All languages are pidgins except for dead languages.

If you study the changes and shifts in PIE (proto-Indo-European) as they evolved thru time you can hear what’s happening here.
Old 28th March 2019
  #30
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by horseface View Post
The vocal softening is some kind of comforting infantilism which I think the youngs are very drawn to. They like their music to feel safe, where as a lot of us older folk like an element of danger to our culture.

Rome is burning, so get off my lawn.

Honestly I think the sound can be used to great effect when the music does indeed have an element of danger, and that's when they are best by far, artistically speaking.

As someone who comes from a metal background I find it undeniable that there is both real musical talent and a real edge to these, for example:





It's sort of "infantilism gone wrong" that reminds me a bit of the twin girls in The Shining or something.

I find the trend irritating, but have little bad to say about the artists themselves.
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