by Constance Tucker
Mandy Harvey has a unique story, one that is about breaking barriers, but also one that is about empowerment while overcoming and embracing a disability. Harvey is an award-winning singer, songwriter and motivational speaker, whose disability is not immediately evident. A Vocal Music Education major at Colorado State University, Mandy lost her residual hearing in 2006-2007 at the age eighteen due to a connective tissue disorder that affected her nerves, which ultimately led to her leaving the program. She pursued several career options, including education, but her passion and desire for music could not be extinguished, so she returned to music in 2008. Though her hearing loss is profound, her timing and pitch are perfect, and to date she has released three albums in her discography.
All of me is a standards album predominately, which Harvey brings her own spin to each classic tune, offering a buoyant perspective straight from the Swing Era. But it is in her originals that we can hear a true burgeoning spirit. “Envy” is suggestive from the first notes, the sensual changes in the tone of her voice gives the song a flirty vibe that works well, coupled with well-crafted lyrics the tune is memorable.
On “Try,” her voice is ethereal and feather-like in its fragility. A more singer-songwriter folkish vibe, it serves Harvey well. Exhibiting her upper register clarity, Harvey conjures a breathy delicacy that lingers long after the tune is concluded.
“Night and Day,” has always been a tried-and true classic that uplifts, and Harvey does not disappoint on this tune. The accompaniment is respectful and supportive, and Harvey approaches the tune once again in a lightly flavored approach. Her voice is crisp and distinctive, filled with personal style, ebullient and free-rolling phrasing.
Well worth the listen, especially the originals. I look forward to more to come from this beautiful soul, and my hope is next time to hear much more of her originals.