Artist: She & Him
Album: Volume One
Zooey Deschanel was and is an actress with an ever-developing career who also happens to be able to sing.
It is a happy accident that a film-related duet with musician M. Ward resulted in his discovery of her songwriting, and the subsequent formation of their duo She & Him.
The album starts off with short and sweet indie folk gem ‘Sentimental Heart’, which showcases Deschanel’s clear vocals and ear for harmony.
‘Why Do You Let Me Stay Here’ is an upbeat Beatles-esque number that outshines the cover of Lennon and McCartney’s ‘I Should Have Known Better’.
Indeed, whilst there are a scattering of covers included it is the original material which takes centre stage; ‘I Was Made For You’ could have been a sixties pop hit but thankfully doesn’t feature the manufactured overkill of chart contemporary Duffy.
Pop, jazz and folk influences permeate the record but the strongest influence is, without a doubt, country. ‘Change is Hard’, the pared-down ‘You’ve Got Me’ and full on love song ‘Sweet Darlin’’ sway particularly towards the genre, and in a more accessible way than might be anticipated.
Making country cool is not a task to be undertaken lightly, but if anyone could do it, it would be She & Him. So long as they don’t get shelved at the end of the retro revolution, here’s hoping for Volume Two.
In a nutshell: Camera Obscura with a large dash of country – with a release like this Deschanel may find herself switching movies for music before long.