Zooey Deschanel is quite the over-achieving artist. Her big break came in the early 2000s, when she began landing support roles in films such as Almost Famous, The Good Girl, Elf, and more. Today, Zooey is widely known as the star in the Fox series, New Girl, but it was over six years ago that her singing career began it’s launch. Fans heard Zooey sing before, most memorably in Elf with “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Three years later, Zooey teamed up with singer-songwriter/producer M. Ward, who encouraged her in the songs she was writing. In 2008, the duo, artily named She & Him, released their debut album, Volume 1. In an interview with Venus Zine, Deschanel described her feelings about starting a career in music.
“I always thought I would be able to sing and act, but at a certain point, it became difficult for me to share the music part. So I was writing a ton of music, but not really doing anything with it. I didn’t really know exactly who to collaborate with … until I met Matt, and everything seemed to fall into place.”
She & Him released a new album, Volume 3, this week with eleven original songs by Deschanel and three covers. Zooey’s voice retains a transparent tone throughout the record, often giving playful melody to lyrics about love and relationships. Have a listen to the first single, “Never Wanted Your Love.”
As you can hear, the record has a totally natural vibe. Crisp drums, tight bass lines, appropriate string and horn additions, and M. Ward’s phenomenal guitar playing give the album somewhat of a throwback feel. There’s a sense of Motown throughout, and the mastering process still left a rawness in the tones and grooves on the record. Sometimes it sounds like you’re right there in the room. Most of the album is a bit of a romantic walk back to a California beach in the 1970s. It even has background vocals tracked by indie pop group, Tilly and the Wall. Have a listen to the first song from the record released on She & Him’s Soundcloud, “I Could’ve Been Your Girl.”
Volume 3 is fun, but classy at the same time. It’s perfect for your summer trip to the beach mix or your playlist for the drive to this weekend’s drive-in movie. Mostly impressive is Zooey Deschanel’s songwriting and composing ability. She truly has a cool sense of melody and a knack for hearing instrumentation. With help from M. Ward, She & Him has become a quaint act for a classy show date. They kick off their summer tour in Nashville at the infamous Ryman Auditorium on June 13th. Get your copy of Volume 3 and check out She & Him’s summer tour stops by clicking on the album art below!
By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC