Atmosphere

Musical Stylings

Tired of the same ol' Fray wannabes? Catch a show by one of these three local stage stars instead.

July 2010

Basic Instinct

As the last note of jazz vocalist Mandy Harvey's sultry song fades away, the crowd at Jay's Bistro in Fort Collins breaks into rapt applause. Harvey smiles—but she can't hear her fans.

The 22-year-old beauty, who envelops audiences with her sumptuous voice and lingering lyrics, lost her hearing three years ago from nerve damage and complications from childhood ear infections. But Harvey refused to give up on her musical ambitions; incredibly, her deafness hasn't affected her ability to hit every note on a dime. What she accomplishes purely on instinct and memory is astonishing. With a rare gift of vocal range, her singing career seems to be gaining momentum, and she hopes to start touring after her second album is released in the fall. Her lyrics, which range from soul-searching to playful, evoke love, life, and inspiration—something she strives to embody for her listeners, whether covering a classic Sinatra hit or crooning an original. "I'm in a position to give people hope and lift their spirits," Harvey says. "There is nothing better I could be doing."

Listen up Catch Harvey at the Fort Collins Jazz Experience (July 10) and the New West Fest (August 20-22), or at Jay's Bistro (135 W. Oak St., Fort Collins) on Thursday nights. www.mandyharveymusic.com —KD

Ukulele Hero

It's Friday night at the Hi-Dive in Denver, and a crowd of PBR-guzzling hipsters is entranced by Loveland's 24-year-old Danielle Anderson, better known by her arbitrary stage name, Danielle Ate the Sandwich. Anderson, whose quirky YouTube clips have amassed an impressive 21,000 subscribers (some videos receiving upward of 250,000 views), is performing an ode to the angst of relationships, harmonizing with her trademark ukulele. Her bohemian approach is just offbeat enough to be endearing.

"I'd like to say it's my songwriting," Anderson says, "but I do think it's the appeal of me: my sense of humor, my look, or just my homemade, girl-alone-in-her-apartment [vibe]—totally vulnerable, writing folk songs, trying to be honest about who she is and what she does." —Kevin Fixler

Listen up Anderson's third album drops on July 6; hear her at the Mile High Music Festival on August 15. www.danielleatethesandwich.net

Name in Lights

The DJ scene isn't just for underground clubs in Los Angeles anymore. Colorado native Derek Vincent Smith, known as Pretty Lights, has been crisscrossing the states and beyond, playing—or rather, mixing—sold-out shows and bringing a fresh sensibility to the well-worn creative pursuit of disc jockeying. Along with percussionist Cory Eberhard, the former CU-Boulder student creates his unique sound by mixing a sometimes groovy, sometimes trippy, always catchy mix of beats culled from hip-hop, retro funk and soul, and electronica.

Like many up-and-coming DJs, Pretty Lights offers his music for free, so you can download his stuff from his website and see what all the fuss is about. —LH

Listen up Head to Red Rocks on August 7 for PL's first headliner at the legendary amphitheater. www.prettylightsmusic.com