Sunday, 15 December 2013

SHE & HIM - American band

She & Him are the actress Zooey Deschanel and musician M.Ward who play varying styles and genres with an Indie feel.  Zooey  sings vocals and also plays piano and ukulele while Ward plays guitar and produces their output.

They first met on the film Go-Getter and Ward had heard Deschanel sing in the film Elf and was surprised to hear she had lots of demos she had written herself but never considered a career in music.  Ward contacted her and soon shared their love of Phil Spector songs and the production of George Martin.  She & Him were formed after Ward said he "wanted to produce her songs properly".



I first time I heard She & Him was on a TV music show when they played "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?".  I t was so quirky and had a nice 60s raw sound to it.  I loved Zooey Deschanel from her kooky roles in many films and the brilliant Tin Man TV series and didn't even know she sung at all having not seen Elf.  They have just released their third album, "Volume 3".

The debut album "Volume 1" was released in 2008 and was originally collaborated by Deschanel and Ward by e-mail!  It had a country-folk-60s feel and Zooey wrote all the songs but "Sweet Darlin" which she co-wrote with Jason Schwartzman.  It contained two covers, Smokey Robinson's  "You Really Got A Hold On Me" and I Should Have Known Better" written by Lennon and McCartney.  Apart from the previously mentioned "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?", the album contains the Country styled "Change Is Hard" and the Motown sound-a-like (Spector-esque) "I Was Made For You".

 
 
The second album, "Volume 2" was released in 2010 and again contained mostly Deschanel penned songs with a couple of covers thrown in for good measure.  I love "In The Sun" , it reminds me of the fun side of the Sixties with The Monkees and a hint of hippie nostalgia.  As with the first album, it was so raw like it was just performed and produced on the spot live.  That's the beauty of She & Him, no over-production at all.  "I'm Gonna Make It Better" is a kind of Country/Swing number complete with slide guitar.  "Thieves" is also a stand out, with a Deborah Harry type vocal over a raw 60s/70s backdrop.
 
 
She & Him released "A Very She & Him Christmas" containing 12 well loved yuletide classics including "Baby, It's Cold Outside", Blue Christmas" and "Have Yourself A Merry little Christmas".  According to Amazon it was in the top 3 best selling MP3 albums over the Christmas period!. 
 
 
 
 
The duo released their third studio album, inventively titled "Volume 3" in 2013.  "Turn To White" is a stand out track, featuring gorgeous soft guitar and superb Jazz chanteuse vocals from Zooey.  The two covers are brilliant, "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" and "Sunday Girl" by Blondie, ironically as I mentioned previously Zooey sometimes has a Debbie Harry vocal style.  "Snow Queen" is a Carpenters-inspired tune where Zooey does her best Karen imitation.
 
 
She & Him received a Grammy award in 2012 for Best Song Written for Visual Media after "So Long" was included on the Winnie The Pooh Soundtrack.
 
 

 
 
Here are some tracks to give you an introduction into She & Him's music -
 
"Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?", "Sweet Darlin'", "You Really Got A Hold On Me", "Change Is Hard", "I Was Made For You".
(From the album "Volume 1").
"In The Sun", "Thieves", "I'm Gonna Make It Better", Ridin' In My Car", I Can Hear Music".
(From the album "Volume 2").
"Turn To White", "Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me", "Sunday Girl", "Snow Queen", "Baby".
(From the album "Volume 3").
 
 





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