songs whose vocals have a weirdly profound effect on you


I don’t really know how else to describe this, but I’m curious if it happens to anyone else:

the thing where you hear a song and feel as though the lyrics are profoundly meaningful to you at some juncture in your life, but then when you step back and try to listen to what the words actually are you realize that they are either meaningless or not really about what you feel they should be about, so then you start to realize that it is actually some ineffable detail about the vocal melody or the way certain words are enunciated that gives you that feeling

this happens to me all the time, it just feels like the perfect synthesis of song writing and performance when it does

lately it was with the kanye west / rihanna / paul mccartney song 'FourFiveSeconds’

no joke, this song lowkey made me cry in public a couple weeks ago

i’ve noticed it also recently with a lot of songs by Chairlift, a Very Cool Band. The way I would describe Chairlift poetically, is it’s like going to Karaoke with a person you’ve known for a long time, and then only at that moment realizing that she is a fucking incredible singer who most probably feels everything in the world more deeply than you do.

But the ultimate version of this for me is the Joni Mitchell song A Case of You, except for some weird reason the version of it that really gives me this feeling is the James Blake cover. I’m not a huge James Blake fan or anything, but this song makes me love him, especially knowing he didn’t even write these words, the way he sings them is just so good.

But this is kind of cheating because I think the lyrics to this song are actually brilliant instead of just being sort of mysterious


I experience this a lot too, and I guess it’s manifested in me considering lyrics to be a low priority. In this sense, it’s vocal range as an instrument, and the flow of the sounds of words (regardless of meaning) that triggers metaphorical resonance in the same way other instruments do.




Bradford Cox has stated in multiple interviews that lyrics to him are just garbles of thought or scraps of memory pasted together with no real motivation behind them, but dammit if this song doesn’t describe the phenomenon we’re discussing in this thread.


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the ‘O’ sounds mostly

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This song is not at all about having a deteriorating mental state, such as the one caused by Alzheimer’s, and slowly realizing that everything you see and do is filtered through a process that doesn’t work the same anymore, and the profound sadness that follows.

But it sure makes me feel like that!


I used to see Julian Koster walk his dog all the time when I lived in Athens. I one time had the courage to talk to him when he was passing and he was a swell fellow and I’ve been a fan of The Music Tapes ever since.

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you should listen to marshmallow coast / m coast / andy gonzalez if you don’t already


Really loving this thread so far. Lots of cool tunes imo.

Actually that Rhye song was another recent obsession and probably one I should have included in OP


this is me 100%. from that i gained an appreciation for screamed vocals and noise music and stuff like that because i realized music to me is nearly completely about the tone and emotional charge more than any lyricism. lyrics can definitely affect me, but it’s not what i notice the first time through.

anyway i was looking up info on flight simulators today and the song in this video made me cry for no reason other than it sounded too perfect and beautiful, esp the vocals intertwining with the instrumentation

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Active Child dude has a great voice in general


Life Without Buildings’ singer trades mostly on this quality but it’s a very sturdy basket for all those eggs

there’s another official live version of this as well as the album ver and the album ver has the most range in its vocal performance but they’re all sheer magic come ~3:00

my singer ends up doing this all the fucking time too, if our friend uploads footage from our show tonight I’ll demonstrate. this ones good for it too though:

this is actually only the second half of this song. the only words I can discern in the first half are ‘there is no shelter there’ but they made me tear up to hear them

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the first verse of this always gets to me because I’m a big dumb sappy dork