kate bush music

10

I got bored and decided to highlight ten of my favorite weird/eccentric singers in modern music. Maybe they aren’t the greatest singers of all time, but they’re all unique and unmistakable. Each of them have singing voices that make you go “WTF is this?!” upon first listen, but then you slowly grow to appreciate them as you listen to more material.

  1. Yma Sumac - The godmother of all eccentric voices. This Peruvian soprano both confused and bewildered 1950s audiences with her five octave vocal range, animal imitations, and “exotica” style of music, which mainly consisted of mambos and Latin American folk tunes. Most of the other people on this liste have traces of her influence in their vocal deliveries. Check out: Tumpa and Chuncho.
  2. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins - Once an aspiring opera singer, this R&B star single-handedly created the “shock rock” genre that performers like Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson later adopted. Emerging from coffins, evoking voodoo rituals, and scream-bellowing his way through songs about everything from soul possession to constipation? Yep, he did it. Oh yeah, and he’s rumored to have fathered over 75 children. Check out: I Put a Spell on You and Constipation Blues.
  3. Tiny Tim - While often regarded as a novelty act, this falsetto nostalgist was actually quiet sincere with his performances. His ukulele renditions of squeaky clean 1930s pop tunes led to stardom in the 1960s, although his fame quickly faded. He would later find posthumous recognition through the use of his music in cartoons like Spongebob Squarepants. Check out: Living in the Sunlight and this bizarre cover of Earth Angel.
  4. Kate Bush - The queen of baroque prog-pop (if that’s even a genre) known for singing self-penned (and self-performed and produced) tunes with a breathy, child-like timbre that’s hard to describe. Her live performances and music videos were equally as hard to describe, but nonetheless captivating. While she was a mega-star in the UK and much of Europe, her peculiar style never caught on in the US. Check out: Wuthering Heights and Sat in your Lap.
  5. Klaus Nomi - Occasionally there are singers whose voices are so strange that words fail to describe them, and this German avant-garde performer is one of them. Part soprano, part alien, and part walking pop art, his style was unmistakable, if also a bit too weird for even other weirdos to process. Still, there is a beauty about his style that shines through, especially in live performances. Check out: The Cold Song and The Nomi Song.
  6. Diamanda Galas - Her nickname in the ‘80s was “The wife of the devil”, and it’s not hard to understand why. She too started her career as an opera singer and took a turn into weird and frightening territory beginning with 1982′s nightmarish LP The Litanies of Satan. With a shrieking 5 ½ octave vocal range and infamous live performances that could scare the bejesus out of anybody, there has never been anybody quite like her before or since. Check out: Double Barrel Prayer and her cover of I Put a Spell on You.
  7. Bjork - This Icelandic maverick started her career as part of numerous alt rock bands before embarking on a highly successful solo career. While her self-produced, eclectic music was always a bit off-kilter, she has only continued to get stranger over the years, but her clear, arresting howl has stayed the same. Her influence is insurmountable, ranging from Thom Yorke to FKA Twigs and beyond. Check out: Human Behavior and Crystalline.
  8. Mike Patton - Best known for his work with Faith No More, he could only best be described as a vocal freak of nature. Possessing a monstrous six octave vocal range (the widest of any singer in modern music), he has mastered death metal, Italian pop tunes, experimental jazz, Native American chants and literally everything in-between. His style has no limits, nor do his songs from various projects, which often jump through multiple genres in the span of three minutes. Check out: Smaller and Smaller (with Faith No More) and My Ass is on Fire (with Mr. Bungle).
  9. Tanya Tagaq - Another performer of “exotic” music by Western standards, this Inuk throat singer takes music traditional to her culture and puts a plethora of innovative spins on it. Alternating between hums, buzzes, coos, and clean vocals, she is primarily a storyteller, using her voice as an instrument to paint striking mental images. Recently she won the 2014 Polaris Prize for music and caused controversy by paying homage to thousands of murdered indigenous women as part of her performance at the ceremony. Check out: Improv Performance and Uja.
  10. Julie Christmas - What would Cinderella become if Prince Charming jilted her? One listen to this Julliard-trained maniac’s voice, and you’ll get the hint. Known for her work with Made out of Babies and Battle of Mice, Christmas can go from sweet to psychotic at the snap of a finger, her vocal delivery terrifying yet intriguing to even the most hardened of metal critics. Her recent solo work is further proof of her vocal acrobatics - a fallen Disney princess, indeed. Check Out: Cooker (with Made out of Babies) and Bones in the Water (with Battle of Mice).

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its nominees for the class of 2018 Thursday morning, presenting a group of first-time nominees that might make up the institution’s most sonically diverse list in years. Find the full list of nominees here.

Kate Bush, Radiohead, Sister Rosetta Tharpe Nominated For Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Photos: Evening Standard/Getty Images, Danny Clinch, Chris Ware/Getty Images

the romantic’s guide to earth.

A playlist for young people coming of age, bewildered time travelers, benevolent aliens*, and other new arrivals to human civilization.

1. “Gosh,” by Jamie xx — The calm before the storm. The 2016 edition of human civilization is awe-inspiring in all the right and wrong ways.

2. “B.O.B.” by OutKast — *Here’s* the storm. The things that make the world beautiful and interesting are usually the same things that make it chaotic and terrifying. If you learn how to ride the lightning, though, even the apocalypse can be an excuse to party.

3. “Cold War,” by Janelle Monáe — The world is 95% horrible and does not have your best interests at heart. Be one of the good guys. Try to make it better.

4. “Common People,” by Pulp — To reiterate: there are people out there who aren’t exactly like you, and they deserve your respect. Don’t be an asshole.

5. “Temptation,” by New Order — Once you’ve got your feet back under you, you get another opportunity to marvel at just how intoxicating the world (and everything in it) really is.

6. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” by Whitney Houston — Now that you’re excited about everything, you want so badly to share it with somebody. Whitney Houston gets you.

7. “I Feel Love,” by Donna Summer — Hey! You get to dance with somebody!!!

8. “When Doves Cry,” by Prince — It turns out relationships can be complicated!!!! )-:

9. “Running Up That Hill,” by Kate Bush — You’re starting to learn that there are a lot of flipsides in life. For one, the infinite variety that makes people fascinating also makes it so that you’ll never totally understand anyone else, even someone you love. *Especially* someone you love. And no matter how much you want them to feel the way you do, no amount of hoping can guarantee that they will.

10. “Bad Religion,” by Frank Ocean — Aw, bud.

11. “Sloop John B,” by the Beach Boys — Sometimes you just want to go home. This is especially true after the world’s ripped your heart out and hired Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance, to riverdance on it.

12. “Everybody Plays the Fool,” by the Main Ingredient — You don’t completely understand other people, and they don’t completely understand you, but one thing everyone knows is how it feels to get your heart broken. Understanding that other people survived is your first step to getting up and over it.

13. “Untitled,” by R.E.M. — The next step? Looking out your window and realizing that the (beautiful, horrible) world didn’t end. And that maybe, just maybe, there are people out there who’ll love you and care about you no matter what.

14. “All My Friends,” by LCD Soundsystem — One of the things you’ll learn from your hard times is that you don’t have to go through them alone and never did. Good friends will save your life.

15. “Born to Run,” by Bruce Springsteen — Thanks to people who care about you, you’ll know by now that it’s risky to hope and riskier not to.

16. “Sally MacLennane,” by the Pogues — Being part of the world means you’re gonna lose a lot of people and things who are important to you along the way. Learn how to say goodbye.

17. “Favorite Thing,” by The Replacements — In a cruel world, love is an act of rebellion. Caring is cool. Being in love is cool.

18. “OK Pal,” by M83 — Being in love is really cool.

19. “You Send Me,” by Sam Cooke — It turns out relationships don’t have to be complicated!!!!

20. “Waterloo Sunset,” by the Kinks — Maybe for the first time, your sense of wonder extends to your everyday life. You’ll learn how to be kinder to other people, to appreciate the parts of them that are arbitrary and essential, and to be grateful for them.

21. “Once in a Lifetime,” by Talking Heads — The most important thing to remember is to stay awake. It could all end at any moment, and you don’t get any do-overs. Savor all of it. [Time travelers can disregard.]

22. “The Obvious Child,” by Paul Simon — You’ll grow up risking everything just by taking part in the world. You’ll win and you’ll lose, and as hard as growing older is, it’ll also give you the perspective you need to sift through the bullshit and the joy you need to heal. The world won’t be the same as it was when you first got here. It’ll be richer for everything you and your memories have added to it.

*The playlist for malevolent aliens is one song: “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” by Toby Keith