Is there a technical terminology that could describe different styles of popular singing, in the same way that linguists might describe accents? Try your hand at a couple of examples inside.
One of my favorite albums from 2010 was Tennis's Cape Dory
--check out the title track here
. They have a very particular retro surf rock sound--partly due to the instrumentation and production--but in no small part due to Alaina Moore's singing.
Then, for instance, take dancehall like this Cutty Ranks track
Two different styles of popular singing, but I have a hard time describing either. Tennis's retro sound seems characterized by the absence of any vocal flourishes, but that wouldn't be enough to give you an idea of how it sounds if I were just describing it. Similarly, dancehall seems like rhythmic monotones, but I assure you, if I were just to rhythmically intone the lyrics I would just sound like a crazy person.
If you were a linguist--or, perhaps, someone writing out sheet music--how would you notate these two styles of singing so that someone 200 years from now could now how it sounded?
I'm not just interested in these two examples--I'd love to be able to bring the same descriptive framework (if it exists) to other kinds of popular song.