But few have exploited its instrumental properties like Glasgow singer-songwriter Jo Mango. On The Moth and the Moon, from her new album Murmuration, she sings under the covers.
Recording in bed was not without its risks, recalls Mango, who has worked with Vashti Bunyan, Teenage Fanclub and Admiral Fallow. "It was actually really hard to sing under the duvet – you use up the oxygen really fast," she laughs. "You can hear that in parts I'm a little breathless, but it had the effect of making it really close-sounding, really in your ear."
This intimate eiderdown pop methodology was suggested by Murmuration's producer, Adem Ilhan. "Adem works in a similar way to me," she offers. "He has all his mad wee instruments, his house is like an instrument museum, and that's just what my house is like."
Murmuration is the follow-up to Mango's 2006 debut, Paperclips and Sand, and it has found a home at Olive Grove Records, helmed by Halina Rifai and Lloyd Meredith. Although it's been a long time coming, Murmuration is a lovely, cohesive body of work.
"The record took a while because we had to try and fit it around everything else we were doing," says Mango. "Adem got super busy with Silver Columns and his film stuff – he did the music for In the Loop – and I was doing my PhD."
Mango's a doctorate in musicology chimes with Murmuration's themes of communication and exploration. "My specialism was about trying to create a different way of writing about music that was musical rather than mathematical," she explains. "I tried to make something that's more like a piece of music out of words; that kind of reflects how the music works."
Murmuration's evocations of wordless vibrations, and starlings' eventide mass-choreography, make it a perfect title.
"I was going to call it The Moth and the Moon, and then I then was going to call it The Black Sun – that's what they call it in Denmark when they have massive murmurations of birds," Mango enthuses. "But Murmuration is an onomatopoeic word. It's got all these different meanings. But it's also just a lovely sound."
Murmuration is out on Monday. Jo Mango plays Glasgow Glad Café tomorrow; Aberdeen Tunnels, November 7; Paisley Brough Hall, November 26; Shhhh! Festival, Glasgow Platform, December 1.