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Moon Over the Freeway

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Editors’ Notes

The Ditty Bops — Abby DeWald and Amanda Barrett — manage to be both quaint and hip, sounding both instantly familiar and startlingly new. Clearly fond of the parlor songs, folk ditties, and light, jazzy swing of the early 20th Century, the duo’s organic, mostly acoustic instrumentation and old-school vibe belie the music’s edginess and eccentricity. On the irresistibly bright and consistently charming Moon Over the Freeway, Mitchell Froom is at the production helm and he augments DeWald’s acoustic guitar and Barrett’s mandolin with just the right touches of piano, accordion, violin, lap steel, and organ. “Let’s go get pierogies at my favorite café, the waitresses are grumpy and their English ain’t so great,” they sing on “Waking Up in the City.” Their fairly straight reading of the Everly Brothers’ “Bye Bye Love” is a perfect showcase for their breezy harmonies and joyful approach. Throughout, their deftly written lyrics are noticeably quirky and stimulating, and they seem just as concerned with the flow and sound of the words strung together as they are with their meaning. “I got a chip on my shoulder and a halo on my head,” they tell us on “Angel with an Attitude.” That’s a pretty apt description for these sunny but sly songsters.


Formed: Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s

Purveying an utterly charming sound that borrows from folk, pop, Western swing, and early vocal jazz, Los Angeles' fancifully named Ditty Bops feature the tightly woven harmonies of Amanda Barrett (who also handles mandolin and dulcimer duties) and Abby DeWald (who also plays guitar). Though Barrett and DeWald met in New York City in the late '90s, they didn't begin playing music until they moved back to California. Barrett spent her childhood in Topanga and learned to play fretted dulcimer when...
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Moon Over the Freeway, The Ditty Bops
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