Deschanel, Ward reteam for follow-up album

Tue Dec 8, 2009 7:00pm EST
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By Michael D. Ayers

NEW YORK (Billboard) - The country-folk duo of M. Ward and actress Zooey Deschanel, known as She & Him, is slated to return in 2010, proving that the 2008 collaboration wasn't just a one-off affair.

Aptly titled "Volume 2," the 13-song set is due March 23 on Merge and features 10 original songs and two covers, NRBQ's "Ridin' in My Car" and Skeeter Davis' "Gonna Get Along Without You." Deschanel wrote the originals, with Ward producing. The pair recorded the tracks over the past year in Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon.

While most actress-to-musician crossover albums don't translate into sales, She & Him struck a chord last time around, with a formula that included Ward's signature washed guitar sound and Deschanel's crystal-clear vocals. According to Nielsen SoundScan, "Volume 1" has sold 176,000 copies.

In a live setting, the group uses a full band and stages successful club tours as well as appearances at major festivals such as the Newport Folk Festival, South by Southwest and the Virgin Festival.

"Volume 2" is said to expand on the first album's 1970s-style aesthetic and production, this time including strings and guests spots from Tilly and the Wall. The duo most recently contributed a cover of the Smiths' "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" to the soundtrack of "(500) Days of Summer," in which Deschanel stars opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Ward's most recent solo release is 2009's "Hold Time," and he also appeared as part of the Bright Eyes/Jim James quartet, Monsters of Folk.

<p>Actress Zooey Deschanel attends the "A Time for Heroes Celebrity Carnival" at the Wadsworth theatre in Los Angeles, California, June 11, 2006. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>