When She met Him: Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward on new record


Actress Zooey Deschanel has played numerous roles on screens big and small, but her range extends to music and live performance as well.

For eight years now, she has teamed with musician M. Ward as the pop duo She & Him, Anthony Mason reports.

Deschanel and Ward first connected in 2006, when she was starring in the film "The Go-Getter" and he was working on the music.

"The director asked us to do a duet together, and it was like one of the most- it was such a fruitful, creative experience," Deschanel said.

After, the actress sent Ward a demo of some songs she'd written.

"Just amazing, simple songs and an amazing voice," Ward said, "and that's the ingredients to every song I've ever loved."

It became the genesis of She & Him, the duo that's just released their fifth album.

Best known as an actress, Deschanel had sung before in films like "Elf." Growing up in LA, she begged her parents for piano lessons.

"I think I wrote my first song when I was 8, like with the piano and everything," Deschanel said. "But then it was always kind of just a hobby ... Until I met Matt, no one ever seemed right to work on it with me, I guess."

Ward, a respected guitarist and singer-songwriter himself, pushed Deschanel to record.

"When I heard Zooey's demos, I knew that the heart of the songs should be Zooey's vocals," Ward said.

For years, Deschanel had been writing songs whenever she could.

"In the middle of the night, like, you know, my house," Deschanel said. "Sometimes I'd be working, I'd do it in my trailer. I'd always have various instruments I would bring places. So sometimes I'd be in, you know, London doing a movie, and I'd have, like, a travel guitar, a glockenspiel and like a tiny keyboard, and I'd be like, how can I make something sound good with these things?"

Their latest album, "Classics," takes them back to some of the American standards that made them fall in love with music.

"You know when you're like a little kid, and you're in the back seat of your car, and you're like looking out the window and the radio's on?" Deschanel said, "that's kind of what I want people to feel [when listening to She & Him]. But I don't want to tell them how to feel."