Odds & Ends

Andrew & Polly

Palindrome Records, 2015


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Whether you're a fan or not, you can't deny that podcasting has become a medium where plenty of ears are gathering. Andrew & Polly, a Santa Monica husband and wife duo, launched the successful Ear Snacks podcast for kids and with kids, which quickly escalated their songwriting to legions of fans. Before the podcast, though, Andrew & Polly built a sizable audience with their songs that are influenced by The Muppets and The Beatles, and this inspiration can be felt on their second album, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Odds & Ends.

“Little Bitta You” starts the album with acoustic guitars and a hushed sing-a-long that is quirky, immediately memorable, and, of course, fun. It’s made even more fun with trombones from Gabe Feenberg (Terraplane Sun). “Critters” follows with harmonicas, hand clapping, animal noises, and whistling, making for a banjo wielding party that's bluegrass-y. “Fruitphabet” is just that – highlighting different fruits that correlate with each letter of the alphabet. It's more talking than singing, and it is aimed more at communicating with the young ears; however, “Grapes” changes direction with an electro-pop tune that's simply about going home to eat grapes.

The second half of the album brings us many highlights, including two covers. Bob Dylan's “Forever Young” is redone with four part harmonies in a glorious folk-pop fashion, and The Ghostbusters theme song is reinvented with accordions, kazoos, theramin, marimba, and other noisemakers not used in the original. Best of all, the chorus comes from the young voices of Andrew & Polly's fans, who recorded their contributions into iPhones. 

Other than the banjo and trombone, Andrew & Polly provides all the instruments here, and they did a great job recording this album in a small studio in their hometown. While it’s a fleeting pop listen at heart, clocking in at just under 30 minutes, there are a wealth of influences that span several decades. Similarly, the songs should sit well with and youngsters and their parents.

Rating: B+

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