I'm no musician, however, would it help to relax into the rhythms?
It's actually hard on my voice to learn music because I have difficulty relaxing. My tone suffers because I'm concentrating so hard on getting the pitches and rhythms correct. Now, if I were a world class musician, I could do everything right on the first take, but I'm simply not that good. Most musicians aren't, so it's OK. Really. :) Sure, I can improve, but it's unrealistic to expect myself to become a world-class musician at 48. ;)
Once I know my part, relaxing does help. In fact, keeping a relaxed tone is one of the most important parts of singing. 1) Never push too hard, 2) Never start a song too loudly; let it grow organically, 3) Even when you reach the climax, hold something back, 4) always leave them wanting more. Generating a pleasing tone requires a lot of work.
Laura, I wonder what it ould feel like to take off all your clothes, stand in front of a mirror and sing your music with full gusto, as if you were Barbra or Judy Garland. I often thought each of them would have a heart attack or stroke from the intensity of their delivery.
Their song starts at 1:10. I don't care for their banter.
Another intense singer is Sammy
Laura, my sincere apologies about the misnomer.