21 Of The Coolest Sprechgesang Songs #1

Why are more and more lead singers of bands talking instead of singing and why is that cool?

First of all, let's translate the term "Sprechgesang", it translates as: spoken singing. In bands that use Sprechgesang as an alternative way of expressing language to singing, you will mainly not hear the singers singing a melody. If they do, then only in between. The lyrics are spoken and emphasized in such a way that it simply goes so well with the music of the instruments that it becomes very interesting as an alternative to melodic singing.

1. Sleaford Mods feat. Billy Nomates - Mork n Mindy

Sleaford Mods are an English sprechgesang post-punk duo. Jason Williamson is the vocalist for performing the lyrics and Andrew Fearn makes the music.
Sleaford Mods released the single Mork n Mindy together with Billy Nomates in 2020.

2. Dry Cleaning - Don't Press Me

Dry Cleaning singer Florence Shaw's cool talk-singing sounds like nothing can ruffle her feathers. The lyrics of Dry Cleaning tracks are peppered with a pinch of humor. They are now one of the big Sprechgesang bands, even though only formed as band in 2018. The single Don't Press Me was released in 2022 and is the eighth track on their second studio album Stumpwork.

3. Billy Nomates - No

English Sprechgesang singer-songwriter Billy Nomates launched her solo career in 2020 with a debut album of the same name as her stage name, Billy Nomates, and her debut song No. Billy Nomates is on the Australian record label Invada, founded by Portishead band member Geoff Barrow.

4. Fontaines D.C. - Televised Mind

Televised Mind is the third single from the second album A Hero's Death by Irish post-punk band Fontaines D.C.. When it comes to sprechgesang in combination with post-punk, Fontaines D.C. are often mentioned in the same breath. When lead singer Grian Chatten performs the lyrics in spoken word style, it's simply cool to listen to and a thrilling experience, as is the case with many other great sprechgesang bands, despite the lack of melody.

5. Sinead O’Brien - There Are Good Times Coming

I'm intrigued to see when the first Wikipedia article will be created for Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O'Brien. It can't be due to a lack of articles in well-known music magazines. In the UK, music magazines such as Rolling Stone, NME (New Musical Express) and the online portal of the British daily newspaper The Guardian, among others, have published articles about the spoken word artist Sinead O'Brien.
There Are Good Times Coming is the ninth track on her 2022 debut album Time Bend And Break The Bower.

6. Wet Leg - Too Late Now

Aloofness is the description in a Stereogum article about the sprechgesang of the British band Wet Leg, who really took off in the early 2020s. That's what the Stereogum article wrote about their debut album Wet leg, which has the same name as the band:
"The vocals take the form of deadpan sprechgesang and wispy melodies, aloof even at their most impassioned."[1]

7. Baxter Dury - I'm Not Your Dog

A 2021 Guardian interview with Baxter Dury states that "These days, his voice is more of a gravelly sprechgesang". But it wasn't always like that, as you can read in the interview article.[2]

British indie singer-songwriter Baxter Dury has released six studio albums since 2002.

8. black midi - John L

The English band Black Midi can't really be categorized into one musical genre. The band's Wikipedia article covers no less than 7 musical genres. Even the sprechgesang is not as clearly recognizable in all songs as in the 2020 track John L. In some tunes it is a mixture of sprechgesang and conventional singing.

9. Yard Act - Dream Job

10. Black Country, New Road - Concorde

11. The Cool Greenhouse - Dirty Glasses

12. Kae Tempest ft. Lianne La Havas - No Prizes

13. Loyle Carner Ft. Jordan Rakei - Ottolenghi (Official Video)

14. The Streets - Each Day Gives

15. Little Simz feat. Cleo Sol - Selfish

16. Self Esteem - I Do This All The Time

17. Porridge Radio - Back To The Radio

18. Cassandra Jenkins - Hard Drive

19. IDLES - Mr. Motivator

20. For Those I Love - You Stayed / To Live

21. Talk Show - Stress


[1] DeVille, C. (2022, April 5). Wet Leg live up to the hype on their debut album: Review. Stereogum. https://www.stereogum.com/2181728/wet-leg-debut-album/reviews/album-of-the-week/

[2] Hattenstone, S. (2021, July 31). Baxter Dury: ‘Everything was about Dad. It was the only way he knew how to survive.’ The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/jul/31/baxter-dury-everything-was-about-dad-it-was-the-only-way-he-knew-how-to-survive

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