When you sing in English, small words offer big opportunities. They can stretch and dance in song. Give them room; pay them attention. Be ready for Russian doll words: tiny words that appear then reappear, nestled inside bigger, emotion-carrying words. Listen to tiny ‘in‘, working alone and within:
Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys is famous for playing glorious games with the English language. If you’re covering an Arctic Monkeys’ song, make sure you know which words carry double meanings, so that you put emphasis in the right places.
Think of Piledriver Waltz: Alex uses misdirection to set up expectation. He places you in the back booth of a run-down hotel: By the pamphlets and the literature/On how to lose … What’s the next word? I bet you guessed weight. And Alex gives you the word you’re expecting, or at least its sound. Then he has fun: