Do You Suffer from Vocal Fry? Then Stop It. Just Stop It.

This is a new one on me–although now that I know what it is, I’ve heard it. And it’s the fault of the goddamn Kardashians.

From Mental Floss:

Vocal fry, which has also been called creaky voice, laryngealization, glottal fry, glottal scrape, click, pulse register, and Strohbass (straw bass), has been discussed in musical and clinical literature since at least the middle of the 20th century. It is a technique (not necessarily encouraged) that lets a singer go to a lower pitch than they would otherwise be capable of. It shows up with some medical conditions affecting the voice box. It is also an important feature in some languages, like Zapotec Mayan, where fry can mark the distinction between two different vowels. These days, however, you mostly hear about it as a social phenomenon, as described (and decried) as “the way a Kardashian speaks”…

Goddamn Kardashians.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “Do You Suffer from Vocal Fry? Then Stop It. Just Stop It.

  • February 17, 2015 at 11:25 am

    There’s a very interesting episode of This American Life that discusses the newfound outrage over this sound.

    It’s Act Two (about 8 mins long) –

    From the transcript:

    “Listeners have always complained about young women reporting on our show. They used to complain about reporters using the word like and about up-speak, which is when you put a question mark at the end of a sentence and ‘talk like this?’ But we don’t get many emails like that anymore. People who don’t like listening to young women on the radio have moved on to vocal fry.”

  • February 17, 2015 at 11:52 am

    I didn’t even notice this phenomenon, until all these mainstream media concern-trolls crawled out of the woodwork a few months ago. What’s the big deal, anyway?


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