Added on Wednesday 27 Oct 2010
I was thinking about the female voice. As a man, I have been programmed to respond to it immediately (unless there is a major sporting event on the telly when the default action becomes ignore). That probably doesn't quite explain why I am something of an aficionado though, to tell the truth, it probably has more to do with an increasing aversion to the plethora of sensitive one man and a guitar singers or the equally unadventurous four/five young boys in an indie rock band that plague dear old Glasgow
A recent rummage through Mono in Kings Court resulted in a vinyl buying frenzy, one of which was a double 7" single by Swedish singer Anna Von Hausswolff. As I fell under her spell, I became aware of the chameleon like quality of her voice almost made it seem like she was a different singer on each of the four songs whilst still clearly being herself. That kind of vocal experimentation seems to be lost on most singers - or perhaps, if I am being cynical, it is the result of the technological intervention known as auto tuning - who pretty much sound the same all the time.
Of course there are exceptions and in the local "scene" with Marie Claire (from The Lotus Project) and Louise McVey (from Louise McVey and Cracks in the Concrete) coming to mind. In fact, I had the good fortune to hear Ms McVey sing in Cava studios recently and was completely captivated by the sheer beauty and controlled power she possesses. No processing, no compression, just her naked voice. I barely managed to maintain my air of nonchalance.
The point of this that I feel a voyage of discovery coming on. Too often of late, my listening habits have become determined by the workload of the reviewer where something like 80% of the albums that come in for review are either male singer songwriters or male indie rock bands. I need to get the enjoyment back.