DISCLAIMER: I have a huge girlcrush on Zooey Deschanel. On the other hand, I liked but didn’t love Volume One – it was one that I enjoyed listening to but never really captured me beyond being pleasant background music. I pretty much assumed that Volume Two would be the same way, but bought it anyway because pleasant retro music is often welcome.
Then a couple of months ago a few of the songs got randomly stuck in my head and I ended up listening to the album on repeat for days. Since then I’ve gone back and gained more appreciation for Volume One, but I do think Volume Two is a more assured, more confident effort from Zooey and M. Ward. They’re growing into their style, doing some really catchy originals and some really attractive covers.
Retro stylings have been a big thing this year in LA indie rock, and She & Him have definitely managed to carve out their own niche even among all the other retro bands – they wouldn’t sound out of place in a 1960s film, but there’s a great freshness and immediate exuberance to Zooey’s vocals and Matt’s arrangements. The album didn’t grab me immediately, but it’s the kind that worms its way into my head and gleefully refuses to leave.