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SHE & HIM

"Volume One" introduces a boy and girl choir making music the old-fashioned way: by hand and with as few machines as humanly possible. The She & Him story begins when in 2006 when renowned one man band M. Ward, recorded a duet with a girl named Zooey Deschanel. A delightful recording session, the experience led to a dialogue between the two about collaborating further. This, in turn, led to Deschanel admitting to secretly making dozens of home demos and hoarding them like acorns for the winter. Realising that if songs were acorns then this was indeed her wintertime, Deschanel sent the recordings to Ward and the demos became the basis for their first record, entitled "Volume One". Aiming to achieve the warmth and charm of pop and country records from the early and mid twentieth century, Ward, who also produced the record, and Deschanel, who wrote most of the music, called upon the help of a number of extraordinary musicians including: Rachel Blumberg, Adam Selzer, Mike Coykendall, Tom Hagerman, Peter Broderick, Mike Mogis, and Paul Brainerd.

She & Him

Melt Away: A Tribute To Brian Wilson

    She & Him, the acclaimed twosome of M.Ward and Zooey Deschanel are known for the stylish arrangements, sophisticated interpretations, and sharply drawn originals they have perfected across their exceedingly fruitful six-album, 14-year collaboration. Now, with Melt Away: A Tribute to Brian Wilson, their seventh full-length release (and first for Fantasy), the duo has crafted a love letter to 60’s-era Southern California-inspired pop that stands on its own as a defining musical achievement.

    Produced by M.Ward and mixed by Tom Schick (Wilco, Norah Jones, Iron and Wine), Melt Away: A Tribute to Brian Wilson is the pair’s first in six years and features an abundance of smartly chosen Wilson/Beach Boys compositions, some universally beloved and others a little less familiar. All of them though, whether ingrained in your soul or hearing for the first time, share a flair for the dramatic. Ward and Deschanel bring their uncanny communal musical instincts to these pop-noir confections and re-imagine them for these times.

    The inviting, twangy album opener, Brian Wilson and Mike Love’s “Darlin’,” (from the Beach Boys 1967 album Wild Honey) sets a high bar that She & Him meets throughout. The duo’s devoted take on “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” is especially revealing. Most wouldn’t consider touching the stone-cold classic, yet they lean into it with unabashed joy. Elsewhere, the band’s sublime version of Wilson’s mournful “Til I Die” is a three-minute and 22 second marvel. Deschanel’s spectacular vocal turn on the criminally overlooked Wilson solo cut “Melt Away” transforms the original’s lush, string-heavy treatment into a post-modern folk-pop gem. Other highlights include the surf-rock throwback “Do It Again,” featuring vocals from Brian Wilson himself (!) and the graceful “Please Let Me Wonder,” a long-treasured Wilson album cut. Finally, the Beach Boy’s timeless “Don’t Worry Baby” might be the album’s centerpiece and most affecting track. M.Ward’s earthy, laconic lead vocal layered over an exquisite arrangement feels organic and completely new – just like this album, a stunner in every way.

    Genre: Indie Pop, Classic Rock, Covers, Twee Pop, 60’s Rock

    Mood Descriptions: Summer Vibes, Upbeat, Beach, Feel Good, Roadtrip, Cloudgazing

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: She & Him (Zooey Deschanel & M Ward) bring their considerable talents to a beautiful tribute to Brian Wilson, one of the greatest songwriters of our time. Expect those woozy lounge-soul vocals from Deschanel and Ward's distinctive guitar style. A fittingly lovely endeavour.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. “Darlin’” – (Wilson-Love) - From The Beach Boys 1967 LP Wild Honey
    2. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – (Wilson-Asher-Love) - From The Beach Boys 1966 LP Pet Sounds
    3. “Til I Die” – (Brian Wilson) – From The Beach Boys 1971 LP Surf’s Up
    4. “Deidre” – (Johnson-Wilson) – From The Beach Boys 1970 LP Sunflower
    5. “Melt Away” – (Brian Wilson) – From Brian Wilson’s 1988 Self-titled Solo LP
    6. “Good To My Baby” – (Wilson-Love) – From The 1965 LP The Beach Boys Today!
    7. “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)” – (Wilson-Asher) - From The 1966 LP Pet Sounds
    8. “Don’t Worry Baby” – (Wilson-Christian) – From The Beach Boys 1964 LP Shut Down Volume 2
    9. “This Whole World” – (Wilson) – From The Beach Boys 1970 LP Sunflower
    10. “Kiss Me, Baby” – (Wilson-Love) – From The 1965 LP The Beach Boys Today!
    11. “Do It Again” Featuring Brian Wilson – (Wilson-Love) – From The Beach Boys 1968 LP Friends
    12. "Heads You Win, Tails I Lose" – (Wilson-Usher) - From The Beach Boys 1962 LP Surfin’ Safari
    13. “Please Let Me Wonder” – (Wilson-Love) - From 1965 LP The Beach Boys Today!
    14. “Meant For You” – (Wilson-Love) - From The Beach Boys 1968 LP Friends

    She & Him

    A Very She & Him Christmas - 10th Anniversary Edition

      This holiday season, Merge will celebrate ten years of A Very She & Him Christmas, the wonderful collection of tunes from two of music’s most beloved artists, Zooey Deschanel (She) & M. Ward (Him)! Recorded and originally released in 2011, Deschanel and Ward let the songs speak for themselves, oftentimes recording them with only acoustic guitar and vocals.

      The result is an intimate holiday recording that deserves a place in your collection next to seminal Christmas albums by the likes of The Carpenters, Vince Guaraldi, The Beach Boys, and Elvis Presley.

      To mark this joyous occasion, the limited-edition deluxe 10th anniversary reissue is pressed on tinsel silver vinyl and includes a brand-new 7”, also on silver vinyl, that features renditions of Madonna’s “Holiday” and Wham!’s “Last Christmas,” as well as a bonus download of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” The 7” can also be purchased separately on evergreen vinyl.

      A portion of all proceeds from A Very She & Him Christmas are donated to 826 National, a non-profit for young people to ignite and channel their creativity, explore identity, advocate for themselves and their community, and achieve academic and professional success.

      TRACK LISTING

      SIDE A
      1. The Christmas Waltz
      2. Christmas Day
      3. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
      4. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
      5. Christmas Wish
      6. Sleigh Ride
      SIDE B
      7. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
      8. Silver Bells
      9. Baby, It’s Cold Outside
      10. Blue Christmas
      11. Little Saint Nick
      12. The Christmas Song

      7” SIDE A
      1. Holiday
      7” SIDE B
      2. Last Christmas
      NOTE: 7” Includes The Digital-only Bonus Track “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.


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