“It’s SO GOOD! … and so weird!”
— Mindy Thomas, SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live
“Almost too adorable for its own good … evokes the airy sweetness of Frances England and will turn any frown upside down.”
— Jeff Bogle, Cooper & Kid
LOS ANGELES — Kids and families nationwide know and love the music of L.A.-based composer/performers Andrew & Polly from hearing the duo’s songs on Nickelodeon’s Wallykazam!, as well as the score to the Nick digital series Welcome To The Wayne. Soon they will get to hear more with the September 25th release of Andrew & Polly’s second album of playful pop tunes for kids, appropriately titled Odds & Ends.
Andrew Barkan and Polly Hall are in demand for their sparkling music for films, TV, and commercials, but their true love is creating and performing music for children. The married couple makes no bones about where their priorities lie.
According to Andrew, “The commercial accolades are nice, but much more meaningful to us was winning the prestigious ASCAP Foundation Joe Raposo Children’s Music Award for the song ‘When You’re A Dog’ from our debut children’s album, Up and At ‘Em!”
Children’s music as a whole is meant to be fun and somewhat silly, with little lessons here and there. It is difficult for one to shine over another, more likely they simply annoy parents a little less than their counterparts. While I can’t speak for every parent, as some of us can tolerate anything, I’m not that Mom.
I have a limited tolerance. It’s a short trip from hearing something a few times to wanting desperately to throw it out the window as I fly down the highway laughing maniacally! That picture painted, I’ll move on and let you know what I think.
First, let me make note of the song Forever Young. I don’t remember the name of the show, but the first time I heard this song was when it was featured as the entry song to a television show. I loved it and searched forever for it, not knowing the name of the song or who sang it. Now that I know, I’m a happy camper. This song just screams happiness and I love it.
As for the rest of the songs, they are cutesy and fun and make you want to do a little jig that will keep a smile on your face. I’ve actually been keeping the disc in my car for rough days, it’s that good. LOL. Andrew and Polly leave you no choice but to sing, smile and move. Check them out and enjoy, you’ll be glad you did!
Polly Hall agrees, “We make genuine connections with children and families through our songs, shows, and podcast. Rather than aspiring to be rock stars, we prefer sitting on the carpet in the corner of our favorite independent bookstore and singing on Saturday mornings.
In that way, we can see kids light up when a song really works. We sing directly to them and with them, on their developmental level, stretching their imaginations and their experience of music.”
Adds Andrew Barkan, “It’s been five years since our first album, and it’s about time for a second one! We’ve been writing songs and playing shows for kids all the while but haven’t been able to take time away from our TV and film scoring work to put a whole record together until now. Odds & Ends is a little bit like our lives after having our first kid — haphazard, hair-brained, and absolutely full of love.”
Odds & Ends is, indeed, quirky and eclectic, just like Andrew & Polly! The album kicks off with “Little Bitta You,” a soft, sweet tune that gets big and happy, and, like childhood, is a bit nonsensical at times. The song also provides a great showcase for trombonist Gabe Feenberg (Terraplane Sun).
“Ghostbusters,” the song that deftly set the silly/scary ambience of the eponymous 1984 film, completely lives up to its reputation in Andrew & Polly’s version, which features theramin, marimba, accordion, kazoos, whistles, synthesizers, and the voices of a collection of their youthful fans bellowing, “Who you gonna call?” into the iPhones of their amazed parents.
What’s next for this dynamic duo? Andrew & Polly are busy developing EAR SNACKS, a new kind of podcast — for kids, featuring kids — and they can’t wait for fans to hear it!