New Reels: ‘Stay A while’ by She & Him

It’s been some seven years since actress and singer/songwriter Zooey Deschanel and fellow singer/songwriter Matthew ‘M’ Ward first met on the set of the film The Go-Getter where they were asked to collaborate on a song for the soundtrack. They clearly hit it off, and since then they have released four acclaimed albums as She & Him, with a fifth Classics due for release on December 2nd.

The album is, as the title suggests, not composed of original material but rather covers of thirteen different songs including ‘Oh No, Not My Baby’, ‘Stay Awhile’ and ‘Unchained Melody’. Covers albums can sometimes be a sign of creative bankruptcy but considering the busy working lives these two lead separately maybe it was more a matter of expedience than anything else. What really matters of course is whether the album is any good, with my guess being that it will be although fans of theirs may be dissapointed not to hear another album of originals.

Taken from that album is this, a cover of a song originally made famous by none other than Dusty Springfield way back in 1964. The track itself is more restrained than the original with some tasty guitar from Ward. It’s the video that we really like though, with Deschanel dancing with an invisible partner around an apartment whilst Ward plays his invisible (air?) guitar in the background. It’s cleverly done and the overall effect is charming and seductive and Deschanel’s natural appeal shines through. Without being completely blown away by either the video or the song something compelling still manages to come across, and it had this reviewer going back for seconds and thirds pretty quickly.

Which kind of sums up She & Him as a whole really. Their records never do anything particularly mind-blowing, but somehow you can’t help but thoroughly enjoy them anyway. What Deschanel and Ward have together is natural charisma and musical chemistry in abundance, and that serves them and us very well indeed.

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