About a Boy (and a Girl)
Matt Ward and Zooey Deschanel make sweet music as the folk duo She & Him.
BY LESLEY MCKENZIE
Matt Ward and Zooey Deschanel
THEY CHOSE THE NAME She & Him because it had an air of anonymity, but that’s the last thing Matt Ward (aka M. Ward) and actress Zooey Deschanel have accomplished with their indie-folk band (reference their sold-out spring tour dates as proof). The duo met in 2007 on the set of the film The Go-Getter, which Deschanel starred in and for which Ward wrote the music. After collaborating on a song for the movie, they realized they shared a similar music style and decided to form a band. Their debut album, Volume One, came out in 2008.
While the duo each has demanding “other” careers (Oregon-based Ward released his sixth solo album in February 2009 and is in the band Monsters of Folk; LA local Deschanel recently wrapped production on Your Highness with James Franco), they still find time to take the stage together. “Recording music I write with a producer I trust is more of an expression of who I am than simply being an actor for hire,” says Deschanel. “If I didn’t do music, I would probably go a little crazy.”
Their sound, which Deschanel describes as “warm,’60-influenced and optimistic,” shows shades of more complexity with their sophomore release—aptly named Volume Two—which came out last month. “The pendulum swings wider on this new record—production-wise and emotionally,” says Ward, who produces the tracks, plays guitar and sings while Deschanel writes, plays piano and is lead vocals. To experience She & Him, make your way to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival this month.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SAM JONES