Set for official release on May 14th, She & Him‘s Volume 3 is streaming on NPR Music’s First Listen this week. It’s been three years since Zooey Deschanel and M Ward’s last offering, though that’s no surprise given Deschanel’s other projects. Though Ward contributes occasional vocals on the album, his primary role is as the arranger and, as NPR points out, the songs are clearly Deschanel’s:
Playful, soft, sunnily melancholy and springlike, its songs once again subsist on the strength of their own agreeability. Timelessness has long been key to She & Him’s charm, and indeed, Volume 3 seems to be floating through AM speakers at all times. But the album also demonstrates that there’s more to Deschanel than her doe-eyed New Girl persona would suggest: She & Him is led by a confident singer-songwriter who, on records and elsewhere, knows exactly what she’s doing.