She & Him
She & Him
She & Him at The Mercy Lounge in Nashville, TN, 31 July 2008
|Origin||Portland, Oregon, U.S.|
|Genres||Indie pop, indie folk|
|Labels||Merge, Double Six, Columbia|
|Associated acts||If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies, Monsters of Folk|
She & Him is an American musical duo consisting of Zooey Deschanel (vocals, piano, ukulele) and M. Ward (guitar, production). The band's first album, Volume One, was released on Merge Records in March 2008. The duo is augmented by session musicians Scott McPherson (drums), Paul Brainard (pedal steel guitar) and Mike Coykendall (bass, guitar).
Deschanel and Ward met on the set of the film The Go-Getter, in which Deschanel had a starring role. Martin Hynes, the director, introduced them to each other and asked them to sing a duet for the film's end credits. They performed the song "When I Get to the Border" by Richard and Linda Thompson. The two bonded over a shared interest in albums produced by George Martin and Phil Spector, as well as certain Ralph Peer groups such as the Carter Family.
Ward heard Deschanel sing in the film Elf. He was surprised to learn that although she wrote songs she hadn't pursued a career in music. Deschanel commented in an interview with Venus Zine: "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.” Deschanel had actually done years' worth of home demos, but was shy about becoming a big-name celebrity. On a whim, she sent them to Ward. Ward called her a short time later, telling her that he would like to record her songs properly, and their band She & Him was formed. Deschanel said in an interview: "I always have loved music, ever since I was really little. I just loved to sing."
2006–2008: Collaboration and Volume One
For Volume One, the pair collaborated via e-mail, with Ward working in his studio in Portland, Oregon and Deschanel in her home in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles influenced Deschanel's songwriting, evoking long drives along the coast while listening to Brian Wilson, golden oldies, and jam music on 1970s AM radio. The California music scene influenced Ward's production of the album and inspired his guitar work with alt-country singers like Jenny Lewis.
Ward and Deschanel recorded in Portland, Oregon in December 2006 and February to March 2007. Volume One was completed in three sessions. They also recorded in Mike Coykendall's and Adam Selzer's studios and had a mixing session with Mike Mogis in his Omaha, Nebraska studio in either April or May 2007. Deschanel wrote all the original songs on the album except "Sweet Darlin'", which she co-wrote with Jason Schwartzman (an actor known for his frequent collaborations with Wes Anderson). In addition to the ten original songs, the album features two cover songs: "You Really Got a Hold on Me" (composed by Smokey Robinson) and "I Should Have Known Better" (composed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).
They took a break after that, as Ward was on tour and Deschanel was filming a movie. Volume One was released on March 18, 2008. Their first public appearance as a band was a year and two months earlier at the Sundance screening of The Go-Getter. They performed at other events and began their first tour in the summer of 2008. Paste named She & Him's debut the No. 1 album of the year.
2010: Volume Two
On March 17, 2010, She & Him released their second album, Volume Two. The album features eleven original songs written by Deschanel and covers of NRBQ's 1977 single "Ridin' in My Car" and Patience and Prudence's "Gonna Get Along Without You Now", as well as a guest appearance from the indie pop group Tilly and the Wall on the track "In the Sun".
They performed concerts throughout the United States including the music festivals South by Southwest, Coachella, Bonnaroo, Savannah, Sasquatch, Nateva, Verge and the inaugural LouFest in St. Louis, Missouri, headlining with the likes of Broken Social Scene, Jeff Tweedy and Built to Spill. They also toured Europe, visiting London, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, and Amsterdam. They were chosen by Matt Groening to perform at All Tomorrow's Parties music festival in England.
2011–2013: A Very She & Him Christmas and Volume 3
A Very She & Him Christmas was announced on Pitchfork.com in September 2011. The twelve track Christmas album was released October 24, 2011 under Merge Records. Amazon.com said on 29 December 2011 that the album was one of its top three best-selling MP3-albums over the Christmas period.
Deschanel confirmed on Twitter that a new album would be released in early 2013. Volume 3 was subsequently announced, with a release date of May 7, 2013 (May 13, 2013 for Europe). She & Him toured the US and Canada in support of Volume 3 in the summer of 2013. Supporting acts along the tour included Tilly and the Wall, Camera Obscura, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell and The Chapin Sisters.
2014–present: Record label change and Classics
On June 27, 2014, it was announced that She & Him had left independent label Merge Records and had joined major label Columbia Records, with their fifth studio album, Classics, scheduled to be released later in the year. The next month, Deschanel and Ward were photographed with Brian Wilson in the studio recording his forthcoming album No Pier Pressure which features Deschanel as a guest vocalist on the cha-cha-esque track "On the Island". On September 15, 2016, She & Him announced the forthcoming release of their second holiday album, Christmas Party, in October of that year.
Awards and honors
- Zooey Deschanel – lead vocals, tambourine, piano, ukulele
- M. Ward – guitar, backing vocals, piano, production
- Volume One (2008)
- Volume Two (2010)
- A Very She & Him Christmas (2011)
- Volume 3 (2013)
- Classics (2014)
- Christmas Party (2016)
- If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies, a cabaret act that featured Deschanel alongside Samantha Shelton
- Rodriguez, M. Ward's first band.
- Monsters of Folk, an indie/folk supergroup consisting of Jim James, Mike Mogis, Conor Oberst, and M. Ward.
- "March Best-Selling Albums on Amazon (UK, US, DE, FR)". The Independent. Archived from the original on 9 July 2017. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
- Kaufman, Gil (12 July 2010). "The Flaming Lips, She And Him Pound Out Some Joy At The Forecastle Festival". Archived from the original on 26 August 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
- Scaggs, Austin. "Smoking Section: Modest Mouse, Zooey Deschanel, Kings of Leon" Rolling Stone, February 5, 2008.
- Solarski, Matthew. "M. Ward/Zooey Deschanel Album Details Surface" Archived 2009-01-14 at the Wayback Machine Pitchfork Media, January 11, 2008.
- Hasty, Katie. "Ward Helps Deschanel Find Her Voice" Billboard, January 31, 2008.
- "Breaking Artist: She and Him". Rolling Stone. March 5, 2008. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
- "She & Him, Jenny Lewis, Jakob Dylan". Spectacle. Season 1. Episode 11. 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-05-04.
- "Venus Zine: Hottt List: She & Him" Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine Venus Zine Winter 2008 Issue
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-  Archived January 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- "Signs of Life 2008: Best Music :: Music :: Features :: Paste". Pastemagazine.com. 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2013-05-06.
- Solarski, Matthew. "M. Ward, Zooey Deschanel Reveal She & Him LP Details" Archived 2008-02-06 at the Wayback Machine Pitchfork Media, January 22, 2008.
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- Maerz, Melissa (2008-06-23). "Zooey Deschanel to be joined by Lavender Diamond's Becky Stark on the road this summer | Inside TV | EW.com". Hollywoodinsider.ew.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-15. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
- [dead link]
- Fitzmaurice, Larry (2011-09-08). "She & Him Reveal Christmas Album | News". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 2011-11-30. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
- Amazon.com Press Release 29 December 2011
- "Twitter / ZooeyDeschanel: Very excited to say @sheandhim". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
- "She & Him Announce New Album, Tour | News". Pitchfork. 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
- Kane, Tyler (2013-01-29). "She & Him Announce Volume 3, Tour Dates". www.pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
- "Hollywood Reporter". Retrieved 2014-06-27.
- "Twitter". Retrieved 2014-08-12.
- Fine, Jason (July 18, 2014). "Brian Wilson's Girl-Powered LP: In the Studio With the Beach Boy". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- Guilbault, Kristy (September 15, 2016). "She & Him Announce Second Holiday Album, Christmas Party". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved September 21, 2016.