Sometimes it’s hard to describe what makes a singer so effective at commanding the attention of their listener. A good singer can seduce with dynamics, use tone to add depth to emotion, emphasize special meaning with phrasing, or even cloudy up ease and clarity with some vocal texture.
There are an infinite number of tools that we can use as singers to grab our audiences attention, but today I’m going to focus on the lilt. A lilt is
a characteristic rising and falling of the voice when speaking; a pleasant gentle accent.
One of the more effective examples that I can think of where a lilt shapes the feel of a song is Mia and the Moon’s “Midnight in London.” (Check out the video below)
The ever-so-gentle slide up to the word “reason” that’s repeated throughout the verses reminds me of the opening of a smile, while also slowing down the pace of the phrasing, giving me the feel of just enjoying the moment.
Naturally this is just my interpretation, but regardless as to what it “says” to you, it’s definitely a huge stylistic factor in the song that subtly captures the attention of it’s listeners.
When I was introduced to this song, I immediately added it to my spotify “chill music” list, and that was before I ever worked with Laura (the singer in the video) as a client. She’s a super sweet and talented singer from the UK that thanks to the miracle of technology and the creators of skype, I’m able to work with every now and again.
So think about where you can effectively and tastefully add lilts into the music you’re singing, and play around with it. A quick hint though… it’s often best executed when understated.
As a final note, I’m trying to really make sure that I’m sharing information with you guys that you want to read. I don’t want to waste my time putting down ideas that you don’t find helpful, so if you’ve enjoyed this post on vocal style, let me know by clicking one of those social counter buttons off to the side and I’ll be sure to do more of them.
We’ll see ya soon!