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If you listen closely (I have a good set of headphones plugged into my computer) you hear a hiss of air underneath the sound of her singing. It sounds expressive, but we have to be very careful in the use of air as a sound-color, because excessive air dries the cords out and can lead to vocal problems. On the other hand, it also sounds emotive, so it is a form of expression, just as other vocal effects like vocal distortion can be. Distortion is something that many singers want, and they will ignore safety warnings in favor of having the vocal coloration that they want, much the same as a smoker might insist that smoking hasn't killed all smokers yet, so why shouldn't they go on smoking....
This gal in the second video sounds awesome, too. She is using more cord closure, so it has more tone and less breathiness. Her style is safer, in terms of good support and minimizing excessive breathiness. Her voice seems much more powerful than Ben.
Both of these singers are aesthetically very good.
Yes. Super-breathy onsets, especially the very first and last words of the intro.
She also sings with good cord closure after the intro. Nice tone. Good support.
Breathy tones are used for effect quite often. Recordings often have tracks overdubbed where the artist adds a layer of nothing but breathy sounds in sync with the main vocal track. Nora Jones albums sometimes utilize this technique. It can make the song sound very close and intimate, as though the vocalist is whispering the song in your ear. Of course they can't actually sing the song with that much added breathiness. It's a studio magic that you aren't supposed to know about.
highmtn said:She's a little breathy, but this is beautiful, nonetheless. Very expressive.
She's a little breathy, but this is beautiful, nonetheless. Very expressive.