• Bryon Harris

Sylvie & Mandy - 'Broken Year'

Review by Daniel Deprè & Staff

“Broken Year” is an incredibly sweet and serene folk song that swings like a lullaby. Its slower pace allows the song to create a sense of relaxation and patience. There is a slight southern twang mixed in with the folk atmosphere and it combines so wonderfully. This is the kind of music that makes you imagine being pensive while looking out on the sunset. While the song has a bit of sadness to it, by the end it carries an uplifting nature that will make your heart soar.

Lyrically, Sylvie is talking about the heavy sadness that can follow after a second chance still leads to disappointing results. While the lyrics are open enough for interpretation, one could relate this to a relationship that still faltered after a second try. The lyrics are beautifully sentimental and conjure up images of happy times and intimate moments.We played fiddles by the fire, singing songs of love and desire, we drank whiskey like it was wine, and we laughed until we cried”. The lyrics are a big part of the overall sorrowful vibe, but the final repeated line breathes acceptance and hope into the song, ending on a warm and uplifting sentiment. “We did the best we could”.

The arrangement is decidedly low-key and gentle and it’s really a delightful sounding setup. The mandolin gets to kick things off with a short and sweet solo that perfectly sets up the sound for the whole song. The mandolin and acoustic guitar play so succinct with one another, accenting different frequencies that sit next to one another so flawlessly. Off to the right of the mix is a subtle slide guitar performance that adds a sense of air and southern twang.

The vocals are silky smooth and emit a bright energy when harmonized. Singer Mandy Sullivan has such a strong control of her voice, which you can hear in how she lets out quick bits of vibrato in her vocal performance. These small but tasteful inflexions add such a layer of expression to her performance.

“Broken Year” is a bittersweet folk song that will lift your spirits up and have you looking forward to a new day, and a new year.

About Sylvie & Mandy About Sylvie & Mandy Sylvie & Mandy write, record, perform and produce original, alternative folk music. Their music explores the traditions of folk and Americana mixed with a touch of classical. Both women hold music degress in classical guitar performance. Sylvie is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, and Mandy is a graduate of the Hartt School of Music.

Sylvie is a lyricist and songwriter who plays guitar and bass. Mandy is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, mandolinist, pianist and ukulele player. In 2019, Sylvie & Mandy received a "Gold Medal Award" from the Global Music Awards for "Best Songwriter & Lyrics" and "Best "Vocals" for their song "Roots Run Deep."

Based in Connecticut and Texas, Sylvie & Mandy have been writing and performing together for many years. They have played many prestigious folk venues like Friday Night Folk (New London), The Buttonwood Performing Arts Center (Middletown), the Mystic Arts Center, and the Breadbox Folk Series (Willimantic). The two women were part of the popular Connecticut folk group, The Beekeepers, and they performed with the Celtic Trio, Celticity. Mandy teaches guitar and piano at Mandy's Music Lessons in Milford, CT and Sylvie teachers guitar online with Guitar on Demand.

For more information, please visit Sylvie & Mandy's website.


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