Social Butterflies


She & Him Featured In Vanity Fair
March 24, 2010, 10:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Whatever you do, don’t mistake Zooey Deschanel for just one more Hollywood actress who likes to do a little singing on the side. “I write all the music and the chords and the melodies,” the pixie-ish star of (500 Days of) Summer says of the songs she and indie-rocker M. Ward perform under the name She & Him. “This has been a thing—people for some reason don’t know that I write music.” Listeners can be forgiven for thinking that such seductively sophisticated tunes as “Black Hole,” from 2008’s Volume One, or “In the Sun,” from the upcoming Volume Two, sprang from the mind of someone who devotes every waking hour to the art of composition rather than of someone who has spent the better part of the past decade working her quirky on-screen appealin comedies ranging from Elf to Showtime’s Weeds. But Deschanel is a serious student of the craft, with a backward-looking list of inspirations—“Brian Wilson, Carole King, Cole Porter, Gershwin, Richard Rogers”—that helps explain why She & Him’s music sounds like something you might find one charmed Saturday on dusty thrift-store vinyl.

It also helps that Ward, in his role as arranger and producer, takes the simplest possible approach to capturing and complementing Deschanel’s licorice vocals and Peanuts piano chords. “My M.O. for working with Zooey is to sit in the control room and let her do her magic,” he says. “We try to keep it as human as possible. There’s enough computer-generated music out there.”


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