The Curse of "Cursive Singing"

Curse this “Cursive Singing”. 

And "Oh-eff yo-ow doh-went no-way woah-ayt Oi-emm ser-way-ay-en..." (*If you don't know what I'm saying) or talking about, then quite simply it is the tactic of contorting vowels when singing, which is so much in vogue right now.

Look, I don’t want to piss a lot of you off but...well, a lot of you will probably be pissed off, because most likely you favourite star does exactly what I'm talking about.

But once and for all, I have to pipe up about this..

"Thing" 

which has infiltrated so pervasively into modern music and is becoming the cause of much mirth and parody on platforms like TikTok and Vine. Apparently I am not the only one who finds it bizarre.

I would really like to know who is the culprit for starting this plague.

Do you know what I’m talking about now? 

The complete and unfathomable wrangling and bastardisation of words in songs. 

Or should I spell that “Sor-wengs”? 

I’m sure once upon a time, in the beginning, it was an original quirk of an artist.. and therefore a unique selling point. Fine. That’s great. 

I have no doubt the first singer of this style was doing so authentically after years of sort of cultivating their quirky way of singing. 

So although it's still slightly irksome to hear (for me), it’s OK. 

But then at some point it started rippling out, and then the ripples became waves and then before we knew it a tidal wave had swept us all off our feet and deposited us in a quickly stagnating reservoir of twisted, incomprehensible vowels. Like some kind of weird whiny soup. Like all things, the originals are new and interesting. Then as more and more people start doing it, it’s just boring. And annoying. 

It seems like if you look up any singer on YouTube or TikTok under ...let’s say 25, the odds are that they’ll be mimicking this style, despite their own speaking voices and accents having no such weird slurs or inflections. 

What gives? 

Alright, look I know fads happen. All the time. I just can’t remember any quite so all pervading and annoying as this. That’s the power of social media I guess.. 

And I guess it is natural to parrot our idols. I know I did when I was a kid and mimicking came so naturally I can’t even remember doing it so it must have been partly subconscious. Like when you pick up a new accent. 

But when I started writing and singing my own songs I gradually developed my own style, which is authentic to me, and largely dropped habits I’d picked up, other than a certain few which must be so deeply ingrained it would feel unnatural to drop them. 

That’s the point of this blog I guess. 

The difference between the natural, authentic and the unnatural. Imitating for the sake of fitting in. 

Fair enough, some people do sing with a natural tendency to slur and blur and sort of... 

Well, whine. 

And fair play to them, I say. 

But artifice is just annoying. 

Bjork and Cerys Matthews for example have accents in their normal speech which make for interesting pronunciations in their songs. 

Most of the singers who are on the “Cursive Singing” bandwagon do not. They’re just copying. 

Something else which is worrying too... once upon a time, lyrics were there to communicate and deliver a message. Words were important

Now it’s like as long as there’s enough angst and emotion in the performance, real or fake, no one cares to know what the actual story is about. It’s like the next stage in the decline of language and speech as a way of clearly conveying one’s ideas and thoughts.

That bugs me a lot. It seems to indicate a desensitisation of sorts.

The diminishing desire to be articulate on one side, and on the other side, the diminishing desire to understand a complex idea. It's like fear of commitment gone nuts. People don't even want to commit to saying or hearing clear messages.

I think this phenomenon goes way beyond music, but I digress. 

Back on topic... 

Seriously, is this going to become THE way to sing from now on? 

I’m not a purist by any means. I love original, quirky, weird and wonderful...variety is the spice of life. Each to their own and all of that. It’s just that widespread copycatting of any sort is really annoying to me. I don’t think it serves the mimickers either. 

So what’s the antidote? Here’s one radical idea. If you want to be an original artist, and not a copycat, I would say one of the best things you could do is to stop listening to music for a while, and start making up your own songs. If you can and want to play an instrument that’s great, but some of the best songwriters never played instruments very well or even at all. Michael Jackson being one great example. Everyone has a voice recorder on their phone, to capture melodies and ideas.

OK, rant over! Sorry to anyone who enjoys this style or genre, or employs it as an artist. But it's just my opinion, which after all is of no consequence.

Have a great morning, day or evening, wherever you are! 

Peace & Love,

Cat

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