She & Him
Though Zooey Deschanel has annoyingly been described as “adorkable”, when paired with M. Ward, the actress-turned-songstress is anything but. She & Him’s latest full-length album, Volume Three, paints Deschanel as a ’60s dreamer, fluctuating between the personalities of a shy coquette and a taunting vixen with mesmerizing vocals that are not-made-for-television. They enlist contributions from names like Mike Watt (The Stooges), Tom Hagerman (Devotchka), Pierre de Reeder (Rilo Kiley) and Tilly And The Wall, while Ward himself proves to be the master of ceremonies, giving into call-and-echoes (“Baby”) and creating full body, big-band arrangements to supplement his other half’s powerful warble (“I’ve Got Your Number, Son”). Volume Three also still shows a familiar tendency for pop covers – including Blondie’s 1978 chart-topping “Sunday Girl” – which blends well with the album’s tone yet falls far from renewal, barely complimenting She & Him’s confident experiments with ’70s funk (“Together”) and painfully beautiful piano ballads (“London”). Repetition aside, the record knows how to overwhelm with fun as it kindly reminds you for a fourth time that the unlikely twosome are truly a match made in indie folk heaven.
Listen: “London”, “Something’s Haunting You”, “I Could’ve Been Your Girl” || Watch: “Never Wanted Your Love”