There’s a thing about a singing voice, the way it tells a different story that the speaking voice. Different from actions, different from looks. You can hear a song from another room, you can hear a song that you wouldn’t normally like, you can hear a song that doesn’t necessarily work. But if the singer is reeling the gold light in through his lungs and casting it out again, a fleet thread invisible in the air, then little else matters.
The vocal is the thing that shapes a lyric. Words are wet clay, you can carve them with a pen or with a voice. You can belt them out of your guts or whisper them from the narrows between your eyes. There is no space that the sound doesn’t fill.
Every song is an incantation, chanting some magic into being, somewhere. Even the bad songs access the power of words and tones, vowels rolled like sea-tumbled stones; consents cutting quick and painless. The hurt doesn’t comes from the slicing, the blade laid to tender skin. The best songs crack the hardest hearts with the softest current. It’s the fissure that lets the light in — the swirl of saltwater stinging a fresh wound, the sudden squinting brightness of day in a place kept dark forever.