Volume 3

Volume 3

She is actress and singer Zooey Deschanel. He is indie rock stalwart M. Ward. Together, the duo makes irresistible indie pop: like countrified Dusty Springfield songs with a bit of sweetened Patsy Cline on top. For the pair’s third volume of sun-soaked tunes (there was also a Christmas-themed affair in 2011), Deschanel writes almost every track, while Ward produces and plays an assortment of instruments. Cooing, Beach Boys–inspired vocal harmonies blow the curtains open on Volume 3 as Deschanel pulls the card of a former lover (“I’ve Got Your Number, Son”) and steady piano chords pierce a swirling, Spector-like Wall of Sound. Orchestral flourishes accompany the instantly catchy “Never Wanted Your Love,” and the theme of romance—whether budding or fading—is threaded throughout the collection, as the honey-voiced Deschanel sounds occasionally brokenhearted but resolutely optimistic. A bouncy, playful cover of Blondie’s “Sunday Girl” is particularly great.

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