She & Him’s Volume One was one of the most surprising records of 2008. The unlikely pairing of actress Zooey Deschanel and multi-instrumentalist M. Ward turned out to be a perfect collaboration for the creation of nostalgic sixties-inspired pop tinged with folk & country touches.
Here on Volume Two, Deschanel and Ward sound as comfortable and complementary a musical pair as Les Paul and Mary Ford. And hearing them together again feels like getting together with two very old friends. This time, the harmonies have grown more layered and complex, the string arrangements more dramatic, the songwriting more confident. But, as with Volume One, the prevailing mood is bittersweet, dreamy and romantic.
“We instinctually landed on this process," explains Ward, “while making Volume One, that Zooey would write and I would produce and arrange. It’s been the most natural extension of our interests and abilities. Using the back and forth between voices and guitars is the main force of the music and we both have a great love for using harmonies. I think the songs lend themselves to production styles that I love and that she loves. There’s no need to change it now. So the process for Volume Two is exactly the same. Zooey writes, I produce, and we both bring our ideas to the studio."
Volume Two was recorded in Los Angeles (where She lives) and Portland, Oregon (where Him resides). In addition to the original material written by Deschanel, the record includes two wonderfully reimagined covers: “Riding In My Car” a should-have-been hit from NRBQ and “Gonna Get Along Without You,” a country-pop shuffle made famous by Skeeter Davis.
Volume Two will be available on-demand March 15 through April 13, 2010.
The album will be released on Tuesday, March 23.
Official artist website: www.sheandhim.com
2. In the Sun
3. Don't Look Back
4. Ridin' in My Car (NRBQ)
5. Lingering Still
6. Me and You
7. Gonna Get Along Without You Now (Skeeter Davis)
9. I'm Gonna Make It Better
11. Over It Over Again
12. Brand New Shoes
13. If You Can't Sleep