Because Everyone Needs A Little Zooey for Christmas

With a mere 12 days until Christmas it only seems appropriate that we once again showcase the always beautiful Zooey Deschanel’s holiday collaboration with the very talented M. Ward on what has quickly become our favorite holiday album, A Very She and Him Christmas.

Deschanel and Ward first met on the set of the film The Go-Getter, in which the actress had a starring role. The director, Martin Hynes, introduced them to each other and asked them to sing a duet together to be played at the end credits of the film. They decided to perform a Richard and Linda Thompson song "When I Get to the Border." The two bonded over a shared interest in the records produced by George Martin and Phil Spector and by certain Ralph Peer groups such as the Carter Family.
Deschanel and Ward first met on the set of the film The Go-Getter, in which the actress had a starring role. The director, Martin Hynes, introduced them to each other and asked them to sing a duet together to be played at the end credits of the film. They decided to perform a Richard and Linda Thompson song “When I Get to the Border.” The two bonded over a shared interest in the records produced by George Martin and Phil Spector and by certain Ralph Peer groups such as the Carter Family.

Tired of hearing all the same holiday standards sung the same (3) different ways over and over again? Will one more listen through of a Manheim Steamroller or Mariah Carey holiday album make you go postal? We thought so and we’ve got just what the doctor ordered; Los Angeles based New Girl star Zooey Deschanel and Portland, Orgeon based Indie Folk rocker M. Ward’s holiday collaboration, A Very She and Him Christmas.

Ward, having heard Deschanel sing previously in the film Elf, was surprised to learn that she wrote songs herself, but hadn't pursued a career in music. Deschanel comments in an interview with Venus Zine, “I always thought I would be able to sing and act, but at a certain point, it became difficult for me to share the music part. So I was writing a ton of music, but not really doing anything with it. I didn’t really know exactly who to collaborate with ... until I met Matt, and everything seemed to fall into place.”[7] Deschanel had actually done years' worth of home demos, but was shy about becoming a big-name celebrity.[8] On a whim, she decided to send them to Ward.[6] Ward called her a short time later, telling her that he would like to record her songs properly, and their band She & Him was formed.[citation needed] Deschanel said in an interview: "I always have loved music, ever since I was really little. I just loved to sing."[9]
Ward, having heard Deschanel sing previously in the film Elf, was surprised to learn that she wrote songs herself, but hadn’t pursued a career in music. Deschanel comments in an interview with Venus Zine, “I always thought I would be able to sing and act, but at a certain point, it became difficult for me to share the music part. So I was writing a ton of music, but not really doing anything with it. I didn’t really know exactly who to collaborate with … until I met Matt, and everything seemed to fall into place.” Deschanel had actually done years’ worth of home demos, but was shy about becoming a big-name celebrity. On a whim, she decided to send them to Ward. Ward called her a short time later, telling her that he would like to record her songs properly, and their band She & Him was formed.[citation needed] Deschanel said in an interview: “I always have loved music, ever since I was really little. I just loved to sing.”

Immersive and heart-warming the album uniquely applies Deschanel’s and Ward’s quirky retro-chic sound in such a way as to nearly reinvent the Christmas album. Comprised of (12) standards ranging from the traditionally melodic first track, The Christmas Waltz to the more upbeat and hipster sounding 9th track, Baby It’s Cold Outside the album seamlessly spans the gambit and scope of the holiday season without every becoming tedius, stale, over-wraught or repetitive.

Deschanel time and again proves that the songs don’t need to be “decorated” with constant impromptu riffs as a means of showcasing  chantreuses’ vocal strength (Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey and others…take note). By taking music back to basics, She & Him have imparted the warmth and tenderness that has been lacking from contemporary and overly commercialized interpretations of holiday songs.

Intriguingly, most people first took notice of Zooey Deschanel’s unique singing voice when she sang, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in the now hugely popular holiday film Elf.  In a nod to the film perhaps, Deschanel and Ward revisit this song on their latest album with one change…Zooey switches verses and takes over the male part while Ward sings the female’s. The most up-tempo track on the album, this twist on the classic song is subtle but effective and effortlessly breathes new life into a classic standard.

In contrast, the tranquil and nearly serene quality of tracks like “Silver Bells,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and “The Christmas Song” provide for a soothingly melodic soundtrack fit for enjoyment in front of  a warm fireplace while watching snow fall through the windows (Or so we would like to imagine being Floridians).  Not to be lulled into a sedate nearly tryptofanic holiday coma the album also features lively, louder and equally inspired tracks such as “Sleigh Ride,” “Little Saint Nick” and “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.”

“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” Live on Ellen

httpvh://youtu.be/uWQ_ImnLctM

An instant holiday classic, She and Him have delivered a quality holiday album that is as subtle as it is inspired and original. The sort of musical adventure befitting of the holidays which offers something for nearly everyone and every set of beliefs equally.