She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward) are about to head on the road for a handful of special holiday shows. The duo’s 2011 album A Very She & Him Christmas has become a staple of the season, and what better way to spread Christmas cheer than by…? Oh, you know the rest.
The tour, dubbed A Very She & Him Christmas Party, kicks off Wednesday (Dec. 4) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at The Met, and wraps the following week with two nights at The Ace in Los Angeles.
Ahead of the special tour, Billboard caught up with Deschanel to talk all things holidays, and why you won’t want to miss this one.
What do you love about holiday-specific tours like this one?
I’ve always loved the holidays, and I especially love holiday music. It’s one of the things that I look forward to all year long. I’ve always, since I was a kid, loved singing Christmas carols, then I was in choir. It’s just one of the things I most enjoy. And Matt [M. Ward] really loves Christmas music, too. So that’s how we started when we made our first Christmas record, and then we loved that so much, and it was so much fun, that we made a second one [2016’s Christmas Party].
Last year, She & Him also embarked on a small run of tour dates around the holidays. What made you want to reprise that — and what’s going to be different about 2019?
We had always talked about doing a holiday tour. Finally we were able to last year, and we had the best time, so we thought we’d go to the East Coast this time, and the West Coast as well. I was a little scared of the cold, but I think I can handle it!
Patton Oswalt and more comedians will be opening for you on the tour, which is cool. Why go in that direction, as opposed to opting for a musical opener?
Well, partially because they’re specialty shows. These aren’t just concerts — it’s like a holiday party thing. Adding an element of variety there really helps add to that. We like having funny people around; we like working with comedians. And then we like to have them come up on stage while we’re doing our show, too, so that’s also fun.
What can fans expect from the setlist?
We do actually play [some] non-holiday songs. We want to bring the people what they want! You play some of the hits and you play the holiday stuff and make it fun. That’s the goal.
Then, there’s never a shortage of songs that Matt and I like to cover. That’s just one of the joys in life, and one of the things that I enjoy when we’re touring — a lot of times we’ll work out songs backstage and add an element of newness and fun and spontaneity. We’ll just add covers into the set that we’ve never played before, and that’s always really fun.
Some of the proceeds from tickets are going to Baby2Baby. What made you choose that organization?
They provide essentials [that] we all take for granted to underserved communities, like diapers and clothes and shoes and those things that are absolute necessities. They do an amazing job of making sure that all those necessities get into the hands of people who need them. We like to have an element of giving with all of our Christmas stuff, like our records and our shows.
Did you ever expect She & Him to become such a big part of the modern holiday music canon?
With our first Christmas record, something magical happened there. Like, I hear it playing all the time. We made it in six days — we just basically went in the studio and were like, “Oh, do you know this Christmas song? Let’s do it.” It was really organic, very off the cuff, and that’s the way I feel about a lot of successes I’ve had in my life, [when it’s] something I really like and finding that a lot of other people like something too.
Finally, can we expect more She & Him music? Will there be a Volume 4?
Always. We are always working. Matt and I are in the same city now, and he has always lots of projects going on, but he always makes time for She & Him, which I really appreciate. We are able to work together a lot. I have a bunch of half-finished songs!