Hello! So first and foremost I wan to put out there how much I love Harry and his voice. Dear god it’s SO COOL and unique. I love how when he’s in good vocal health he has all these different textures to it- the gruffness of his chest voice, the purity of his falsetto, the power of his belt. When the studio version of SOTT came out I couldn’t sing his praises enough. His voice sounded SO HEALTHY. He was making such good choices!!! Everything was relaxed and well supported. He let the song build naturally. He MUST have gotten some solid vocal training over his break because that isn’t something that can just happen over night. I was very impressed and very proud. I was also a bit nervous to see if these changes would hold when he started performing live….and…..it looks like I had good reason to be nervous.
Here’s the thing. There are a few reasons I’m so hard on Harry in particular when it comes to poor technique. First, compared to the other guys, his technique is the only one that’s actually physically DAMAGING. Could the other guys benefit from proper training? Sure. Of course. Every singer can. Even those who have been singing for years still should train on a regular basis. But the other boys’ bad habits are just that- bad habits. They aren’t going to do long term damage, not the way Harry’s are. The second reason is BECAUSE I know he can do (AND HAS DONE!!!!!) so much better!! I know he’s CAPABLE of so much more and so yeah, I’m hard on him because of that. And finally, I know exactly what he’s doing physically and exactly what’s going through his mind because I have the same exact bad habits and I can see him using the same exact thought process as to why he slips into these again.
Harry is the Ultimate Performer. He wants nothing more than to put on a good show for everyone, even if that means sacrificing his own vocal health. Now, that’s isn’t a HUGE problem…until it KEEPS happening. Which is what happened with OTRA. And possibly might be happening now, although that remains to be seen. One performance of one song slips into an entire show of this slips into two shows of this slips into the entire tour and wham, you’ve got nodes. I think the biggest problem with Harry’s performance last night is he doesn’t trust the material or HIMSELF to sell it the way it is. He feels he needs to overcompensate and big Big and Bold right from the start and that song is not built to be sung that way. He started at a level that he couldn’t sustain throughout the entire thing and had nowhere to go. That’s when he ran into trouble.
As soon as he opened his mouth, I knew it wasn’t going to go well. Don’t get me wrong, he sounds fantastic in the beginning…but like I said, there was nothing for him to build upon because he already started it at too high a height. His voice sounded raspy to me too, raspier than usual. That can be caused by a few things- he could have been dehydrated (you can’t sing right if you don’t pee white!), he could have been tired (we know he’s a morning person and that show is pretty late for him), he could have strained his voice at the concert the night before, he could have over rehearsed, he could have smoked a bit. I don’t know what the cause was, but he didn’t start off the evening in the best vocal health, especially for a song that’s very difficult to sing. I also think he KNEW that so again, he tried to overcompensate for that by pushing.
There is so much tension throughout his whole body, particular his shoulders on up. I’m sure a lot of that is due to nerves. I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again: the SNL stage is one of the hardest venues for artists to play. There’s something particularly rough about it. He’s also always had problems tensing up his face when he sings, but it what was particularly striking to me was that he did it during the falsetto parts. That should have been EASY for him to sing. That’s something light and relaxed. Almost a break from the tension of the rest of the song…and yet he looks like he was in pain. Which makes me wonder if he WAS in pain. it’s hard to tell, but it almost seems like the second time he does it he pushes it more to a mix than a pure falsetto.
It’s notable to me how relaxed the second syllable of “bullets” around 2:44-2:48 is compared to the rest. THAT is what the whole thing should have sounded like. it’s relaxed and he’s got a great vibratto on it that comes straight from the diaphragm there- compare that to how tight “bullets” are the second time he sings it in that phrase at 2:58ish-3:04. Why did you change what you were doing, sir??? In fact, to me it seemed like he KNEW it sounded good the first time and did his cute li’l dance and then came back to it feeling like “yeah I got this…” and then tightened right back up again. because he didn’t trust himself.
Thennnnnn the bridge happens. And this is what i mean by he had nowhere to go. THIS should have been his first belt it out moment. but he pushed too hard too quickly and his voice just…wasn’t there. It was tired. The first scoop up to the first “we” was off key because of it and I think he knew it which made it even worse and MORE tense to the point where he just didn’t have the vocal agility to flip into his fasletto again for “learn”. And then we’ve got the “it’s just what we know” which was just a poor choice. I have a feeling he nailed that MULTIPLE times in rehearsals and mannnnn if he was in good vocal health how killer would that have sounded!??!!? But instead, we got what’s called harmonic distortion which is SUPER VERY YIKESY AND A BIG SIGN OF HOLYSHITYOU’REDOINGDAMAGE (i sincerely hope he has an appointment with an ENT this week and gets scoped to check that out). This was another instance of him trying to put on a great show and overcompensate for what he probably felt was lackluster vocals (which for the record WERE NOT THAT BAD. I’m picking it apart because…well, it’s what I do. and i don’t think I would have had too much of a problem if it weren’t for the super damaging choices he ended up making).
From there he’s thinking “Oh shit that was bad…I REALLY fucked up…better step up my game and make the end better!” and once again tries to overcompensate and push a voice that’s already been pushed to the brink. there just wasn’t more in there for it to give. He couldn’t sustain it. He had already given everything that there was go to give.
When it comes to ESNY, it was a much better performance. I think it’s partially due to the fact that it’s an easier song to sing and partially due to the fact that he was playing guitar so he wasn’t as much in his head (Side note: CAN YOU BELIEVE HE FINALLY BLESSED US WITH HIS GUITAR SKILLS?????). His belty part towards the end wasn’t as good as it could have been, but I think that’s just due to the fact that his voice was kinda shot and that’s the best it was going to be. It wasn’t TERRIBLE and obviously it could have been better, but I am curious to hear the studio version to see if there’s more belting that he just wasn’t comfortable with last night. I could have done without the facial affectations because it just adds more tension and tension is bad, kiddos But I think it’s a stylistic choice and I’m trying to pick my battles here. Additionally, as we’ve seen in gif form his li’l neck vein was popping out so yeah he was tensing up pretty good there…but again, it wasn’t as terrible as it could have been since the song itself isn’t as taxing vocally.
All in all, the performances were great, especially if you’re not as picky as I am. I know this was his first time singing live in well over a year and SNL is high stress and it’s his first time out there ALONE. I’m curious to see what happens on Graham Norton and if he improves his technique. I’m also really curious to see how he’ll be on tour as well. I do wonder if he’ll lower the key of SOTT so it’s not as taxing. No one would really notice and it would make things a little easier on him. It’s just frustrating because I know he has it in him to do it well. We’ve HEARD him do it well. But he just doesn’t trust himself enough to do that and that kind of breaks my heart a little. Thankfully, he’s young and has time to learn. He can still break these habits and make new, healthier ones and learn to trust himself more.
BUDDY. YOU GOT THIS. YOU HAVE AN AMAZING VOICE. YOU ARE A FANTASTIC SONGWRITER. YOU HAVE GREAT TECHNIQUE WHEN YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO IT. YOU ARE A KILLER SHOWMAN WITH A TON OF CHARISMA. PLEASE TRUST THESE THINGS AND STOP PUSHING YOURSELF BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO SEE YOU DAMAGE ANYTHING.
I know a girl who was created from the very essence of bliss
Her gleaming smile was indefinite, her eyes contained the mere concept of hope, and her spirit operated on the simple thought of ingenuity. With stubbornness being the voice she could never silence, she’d win every battle against the belief that a thing could be nefarious. Her intellect was beyond compare, beginning at the age of eight, and her kindness reached that of the most delicate flower. The stars spoke to her in a language not forged of noise, but of a glimmering dance in which the stage was the sky and the spotlight was the moon. She fathomed those who were overlooked, and in a selfless act, pushed herself down so they could rise up. She was compassionate, inspiring, altruistic, and most of all pure.
I know a girl who hid a lot of secrets
The missing puzzle pieces that fabricated her existence were shrouded from her family, friends, enemies, and the strangers who trudged past her without taking a second glance. It’s astonishing how much a long – sleeved sweater and a forced smile can obscure from unenthused eyes. She couldn’t bear to remove the mass of burdens strangling her mind and give that suffering to another soul; she didn’t desire sympathy, her intention was to please all that she could, and so she would.
I know a girl who trekked down a road in which she could not return
Her mind was overflowing with intricately tangled thoughts of chaos and madness. She often embraced the demons that encompassed her because they were seemingly the only ones who understood the nightmare she was living. She drew with silver and it came out as a deep, crimson red, creating a tragically emotional masterpiece. Her whole physique was a canvas to a galaxy of bruises and a sea of gashes. She was tormented for the way she looked and as a result starved herself into becoming thin. Her motivation to simply breathe day after day ceased to exist. She was no longer living, but dying in the wake of those who were too narcissistic to even distinguish her crumbling will to survive. Her soul had become nothing more than a ghost with a beating heart.
I know a girl who tried to end her life
She became too frightened of the next appalling chapter of her life, and decided that her story was finished. She didn’t believe that there was a possibility things would improve and wanted to be free of the agony. Nobody would care, nobody would miss her. Her memory would be buried along with her corpse.
2:37 a.m., was the moment her heart stopped beating, her mind ceased to think, and her final breathe was complete; it was over. . . . . . . .
And then it wasn’t.
Her attempt at greeting death with a smile failed, and she was forced to live life with that sensation of being so close to freedom.. so close to getting away from the misery. Her yearning for demise never left her thoughts, and has forever since haunted her.
I know a girl who’s no longer a girl
She’s a storm with skin. A zombie walking amongst a world full of humans. The shattered glass in which nobody seeks to repair. A mistake that must be erased. An empty body that somehow still functions. A natural disaster that annihilates people’s lives.
She’s hollow, she’s exhausted, she’s uncontrollable, and she’ll forever be possessed by the demons within.
I’ve been playing around with making my own oatcakes (cause a lot of the ones you can buy in stores have been adulterated with wheat and potato starch and
sodium fucking benzoate of all things) and I think I’ve finally hit on the right ratio for savory seasoning, but also I’ve managed to make a sweet version too and oh, oh it’s the first sweet thing I’ve had in weeks and it’s heaven. Crumbly, sweet heaven.
the losers club as roommates???? i can't write for shit and i'm v v v desperate
-ok so after collage, all the losers get two different apartments in the city; one for the core four, one for ben, bev and mike (but only because his job doesn’t cover the cost for how own apartment so he splits rent to make it cheaper)
-bill and stan share a room and so do rich and eddie
-bill and ben both work at the local newspaper; bill writes short stories and ben writes poetry (both in the same page)
-stan does photography, doing headshots for actors, wedding/birthday photos; he also had a part time job st the jc penny photo studio
-rich works at te radio station, dj-ing all the music and throwing around his voices to lighted the mood
-eddie and mike both work at starbucks, and it pays well surprisingly
-anyway back the the rooms; eddie and stan always cook the meals (because whenever richie cooks, something will catch fire, and bill just never learned), which means that rich and bill clean up afterwards.
-ben, bev and mike spend all their free time in (what the four call) The Friends Pad (cause they painted their door purple), that sometimes they wonder if they even need their own apartment
-they do, cause bev cannot stand richies messiness
-stan, ed and bill are pretty clean and organized buT RICHIE OH DEAR LORD THAT BOY HAS NEVER HEARD OF A LAUNDRY BASKET G O D
-they put up with it though
-now onto the the three’s apartment; they all have their own room, but since the place only came with two rooms, ben and bev share (cAusE tHeyRe iN lOvE) and mike gets the room near the kitchen
-their apartment is filled with aesthetic art and the living rooms looks like i came from tumbr jesus
-that was bev’s doing
-the Friends Pad look… ok??? it looks like a general apartment but inside all the rooms it’s a diff colour
-rich and eds is a nice soft yellow and bill and stan’s is a sky blue
-the rest is a weird beige/white colour
-they all walk to word (except for bill and ben, who carpool)
-one special dates (anniversary’s, birthdays, etc) they all go out and eat at the nice place downtown called Ben Franklins that makes malts and shakes the old fashioned way, and it’s super cheap
(if anyone has been there in Phily, dEAR GOD ITS SO GOOD AGH)
-they have sleepovers all the time, and sleep outside on the three’s fairly large patio. they take all the blankets and pillows and pile it up. with a white sheep they’ll set up a projector and watch movies and stay up till 4am
that’s all i can think of now but this was so fun omg thank you, gAh