Readers of the site over the past year or so know I've paid a lot of attention to podcasts made for kids, and one of the most delightful of the bunch is Ear Snacks, a funny and occasionally surreal podcast for preschoolers from Los Angeles-based duo Andrew & Polly.
They've now collected the best tracks featured on the podcast's first season in the prosaically titled Ear Snacks: Songs from the Podcast. That title is the most straightforward and boring thing about the entire album whose unifying theme, if anything, is silliness. There's a meta-song for preschoolers about dancing to songs ("Dancing Pants," featuring fellow L.A. musician Mista Cookie Jar), a swinging song about getting the mail ("Mail," natch), and the crunchy pop of "I Wanna Be a Giraffe." And I haven't even mentioned until now the stone-cold classic kindie classic track "Grapes." It's not total silliness -- listen to the gorgeous "How Can You Tell If It's Going To Rain?" -- but the meter swings more to the giddy rather than somber. (Just listen Andrew and Polly hiding in the hidden track at the end...) I liked Odds & Ends, the duo's previous album that featured some songs from early podcast episodes, but I found the songwriting here to be a step beyond that -- they sound quite confident in their own, quirky voice.
At 37 minutes in length, the album is just the right length for the 2-to-6-year-olds who are the album (and podcast's) target audience. (A shout-out as well to the liner notes, filled with "Snacktivities" listeners of any age can do using just their creative brains.) Filled with goofiness leavened with just enough sweetness, Ear Snacks: Songs from the Podcast is a collection of music you don't need the podcast to appreciate. It's a fabulous compilation of more than a year's worth of creativity, a great bunch of songs for listening at any time. Definitely recommended.
Note: I received a copy of the album for possible review. We also both participate on the board of Kids Listen, an advocacy group for kids' podcasts.