• A Very She & Him Christmas Album Review

    By Natalie Ekstrand

    She & Him is an American Indie pop band consisting of actress Zooey Deschanel (vocals, ukulele, piano) and Portland native M. Ward (vocals, guitar).  Together these two make twee folk pop with a vintage feel.  Much like Zooey Deschanel’s persona their music has an “adorkable” allure in the indie circuit.  With two full length albums under their belt, the duo set out to make a Christmas record, which came out in October of this year.

    A Very She & Him Christmas, as they call it, is an intimately crafted record favoring sparse guitar and Deschanel’s vocals. These songs are not complete reinterpretations of Christmas tunes, but rather likeable and simple covers.  She & Him’s record is reminiscent of old-timer Christmas favorites like the Carpenters or the Beach Boys.  Their Christmas album waves away lush musical arrangements in favor of reproducing old-fashioned Christmas songs.

    She & Him – Christmas Day

    This album could easily be the soundtrack to an intimate Christmas gathering in a wood paneled basement while guests sip Sanka, or a modern day rooftop indie Christmas dinner party.  These songs may not have the instrumentation of other She & Him records, but it for sure stays true to the band’s vintage aesthetic.

    Stand out tracks on the record include the more rockabilly, upbeat “Christmas Day,” “Sleigh Ride” and “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.”  Whereas “Silver Bells” and “Blue Christmas”, although still likeable, evoke a more melancholic feel.  “Christmas Wish” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” are maybe the most beautiful because M. Ward’s vocals finally make an appearance.  “Little St. Nick” is She & Him’s interpretation of this fun beachy classic, with Deschanel strumming the ukulele.  “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” are reworked slightly with a more laidback slower tempo.  Finally the album closes with the quintessential “Christmas Song” sung by Zooey Deschanel with Ward’s guitar strumming in the background.

    This album is full of likeable Christmas covers for the holidays.  Although there is nothing groundbreaking or new about these songs, they keep the vintage holiday spirit alive.  The only problem is that the songs are so sparse and untouched that they can seem flat at times.  They have a way of blending into one another as Zooey Deschanel’s vocals and Ward’s guitar carry each tune in the same simple style.  With that being said, these songs are certainly fine interpretations of old Christmas classics, perfect for a laid back winter evening.

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