With She & Him's 2008 debut, "Vol. 1," M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel proved it's possible for a respected indie-rock troubadour to successfully team up with a songwriting film star. Released on Ward's longtime label Merge, the duo's first effort won over fans and critics with the combination of Deschanel's sugary lyrics and simple song structure in front of Ward's guitar and production work.
But when the act first signed with Merge in late 2007, it wasn't with the assumption that a second set would follow. "Even though it was called 'Vol. 1,' we didn't know if it was going to be an ongoing project or not," label co-founder Mac McCaughan says. "Maybe if it wasn't fun for them that would've been the end of it."
Deschanel and Ward have had a busy couple of years, she with promotion for the movie "(500) Days of Summer" and he with a solo record and Monsters of Folk, his collaboration with Conor Oberst, Jim James and Mike Mogis. But with the March 23 release of "Vol. 2," they want it known that She & Him aren't just a one-off affair. "As long as Matt wants to produce this music I write, I want to keep that partnership going," Deschanel says.
Ward responds with a laugh, "As long as Zooey asks, the sky's the limit."
Watch She & Him's new video for "In The Sun," the first single from "Vol. 2."
Manager Jordan Kurland says that so much of the build happened organically for "Vol. 1" that the act's team had only three months to set up the record's release. But for the new album, there was more time to plan.