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each month. people love to hear something they know in a way they might not have heard it before.Zooey Deschanel and Matt Ward are surprisingly unassuming. I imagine it was the same for Zooey. I don’t really want one. Both Ward and Deschanel. There’s something really nice about a) covering a song people don’t know and reintroducing people to it or b) covering a song people know and love to hear.” Ward adds. Indeed. he slouches and fidgets. publicist and a few hotel staff. we were recording the record. “This is my thing I’m focused on right now. I feel like I write music best when I have to be somewhere. which the pair have also recorded for a few movie soundtracks. I took lessons as a kid. “They wanted production. Hold Time. and the two musicians don’t draw any stares from the loud girls behind the front desk. Matt was adding strings. That kind of time.” The record itself. the acclaimed (500) Days of Summer.Walter printed dress Chloe patent belt Matt .or perhaps just more accustomed . and the choice of both covers . So that’s precious time in my mind… [But] you can’t force it. not bothered. It’s always difficult when you’re bouncing around the country. And then they needed to be heard.” Zooey . So the most grounding thing I could do was make myself play these songs from a book. showcasing Deschanel’s dulcet singing voice and the duo’s predilection for an older sound. but not overtly. “I remember when I was a kid I would just wander around my parents’ yard all the time and I would sing to myself. but I love doing this and it’s very exciting for me to be able to focus on this for a while right now. I want to play it. “I would just go press days. you sit. “You just sort of walk around. The pair sits in the front corner of the lobby in New York’s Bowery Hotel. picking at the remains of their breakfast.” “The songs were just crying out. was considered a contender for a Best Picture Oscar nomination and received two Golden Globe nods.” “I learned to play piano by playing from a jazz fakebook. When you play live. I’m not knocking that. So I’m excited to do this. the lobby is empty. and it was recently announced that Deschanel is developing and producing (and likely starring in) an HBO series based on Pamela Des Barres’ famous book. Besides their manager. Doing nothing. While she sits upright in one of the lobby’s grandiose plush chairs. The little songs wanted to be heard. almost happily. Ward mentions. Letting your mind wander. and the pair took quick trips between her hometown of Los Angeles and his hometown of Portland to record. The movie is scheduled to come out in October. particularly as her last big film. Your Highness.” Ward says. Deschanel. often garnering attention for her vintage wardrobe and immaculate hair. in small spurts. you play with the grass. it almost seems like she’d rather just be recognized as a songwriter and musician. who says. Ward.” Lest that send waves of panic amongst Deschanel’s fans. “I think we’re hardwired the same way when it comes to music. Elf and The Happening. is clearly more comfortable . If there’s a song I like. with It’s clear from Deschanel’s jovial rapport with Ward and the glimmer in both musicians’ eyes when they discuss their sophomore effort that doing this right now is the best possible thing both could be doing. who may fear that between her musical career and recent marriage to Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard Deschanel’s face won’t grace the silver screen any time soon. And I love working with Matt. It had a long gestation process. We kept adding things until the end. is the kind of time I need. “We like a lot of the same things. Deschanel is certainly recognizable. clad in a winter coat and jeans. in fact. casually adorned in a charming dress and cardigan.Eubiq plaid shirt fashion issUE 63 . which offers 11 original songs and two covers. I like to focus on the Natalie Portman and James Franco. who tersely declares. Deschanel is as good a songwriter as she is an actress . “I try to do less and less. It’s a great job.and she’s much more willing to discuss her methodology when it comes to music. “I don’t have an acting job right now. It’s hard to focus on a film if your heart’s somewhere else.suggests a particular fascination with the ‘60s. starting at the first page. “We would do a couple days here and a couple days there. that many people have thought She & Him were a cover band and had absolutely no idea that Deschanel can write a song at all.NRBQ’s “Ridin’ in My Car” and Skeeter Davis’s “Gonna Get Along Without You Now” .” note that this desire to play the songs of others and draw inspiration from classic songs may be derived from how both learned to play music in the first place. She’s ubiquitous in the media. Deschanel (who writes the songs) sporadically sent Ward (who arranges and produces the music) demos throughout 2009. Somewhere between these endeavors. which succeeds She & Him’s 2008 debut Volume One. entitled Volume Two. You can a little. and this is really fun and exciting for me. as she sits alertly in the Bowery Hotel. That’s when I come up with ideas. But if you ask Deschanel now.” Deschanel says. and Deschanel’s originals that have fans confused as to whether She & Him even have anything besides covers. To be honest. It’s just a pleasure. things I’m excited about. But tracks like Volume Two’s affecting closer “If You Can’t Sleep” reveal that. the She in the duo’s group She & Him. but I was always playing by ear. Ward and Deschanel found time to make Volume Two. I’m With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie. first known for her role in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous and later for her quirky sensibility in films like Yes Man. it’s very disruptive and distracting.” It is perhaps the seamlessness between these covers.” she says. “I have one thing in development that I’m working on and producing. “I am totally focused on She & Him right now. So I’m just doing this right now. last year. and play through each song. as Ward laughs. I choose to do less. much of the album resonates with the tone of music from decades past. for me.” just finished a stint supporting a new album with his musical collective Monsters of Folk and released his sixth solo studio album. is an obvious continuation of Volume One. it should be noted that Deschanel recently wrapped a new film. you either have to schedule things when you have more time or be more organized. I started playing music by covering old songs.” Deschanel explains. “Over the course of a whole year.” Deschanel says. after bantering with Ward about their second album. In terms of balancing other things. We love covering songs.” Zooey replies. “I feel like we have similar tastes. We’re both really inspired by older music.

There’s other songs.” For Ward.” Ward says about knowing when a song is done. The most important thing is knowing first whether a song is ready to be recorded and then when it’s finished and ready to grace the public’s ears. many volumes. Some posthumous. ‘There needs to be many.’ I see this going into the forties or fifties. And she’s also an excellent songwriter. -Zooey When I first heard Zooeys first few demos I said to myself There needs to be many many volumes. You have an idea in your head of how it should sound.” Ward agrees. that just need more time… When I listen to my own demos there’s just a trigger in my head that says. who says he listens to Deschanel’s demos “lots” of times. almost inevitable songs. As for how many volumes there will be? “As long as Matt will produce the songs that I write I will want to work with him. who both appear gracious and humbled when the other compliments their talents. but there will probably be She & Him records from beyond the grave. It was hard to know what the intention and future was for She & Him when Volume One appeared with little prior announcement. I don’t know how or why they sound finished to me. Fans knew Deschanel could sing in the movies. Sometimes. I said to myself. -Ma tt fashion issUE 65 .” Its hard to focus on a film if your hearts somewhere else . I see this going into the forties or fifties. “The feeling is mutual. whom she met while both were working on the soundtrack for The Go-Getter in 2007. Those are the ones I feel are ready for production and ready to be taken to the big studio. It’s a morbid thing to think about. but no one could have predicted that her partnership with Ward. So Im just doing this right now . “When I first heard Zooey’s first few demos. You can also realize it’s not finished in the studio.’ I think we all have that feeling. and certain songs just sound finished to me.” Deschanel says. ‘This song’s not finished.” This sort of back-and-forth flattery is frequent between Ward and Deschanel. Maybe even a million. Zooey sends me demos. That’s the extent of forcing. smiling. the process starts when he evaluates what she’s written and decides how best to arrange and record it. I can’t make myself do it. “It’s something you feel. would yield such interesting. that we all write. as on “Sing” from the album. “It’s hard to put into words. I just gravitate towards the songs she writes that for some reason feel finished to me.piano so there’s a possibility that something will come out. Zooey’s just an incredible singer and she can make a song that’s not my favorite song in the world still sound great. he adds his own gravelly voice to supplement Deschanel’s sweet croon.

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