She & Him Pay Tribute to the 'Classics'

Set for a fall release, the duo's major-label debut will be live recordings of timeless songs

She & Him
Courtesy: The Fun Star
She & Him
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After signing with Columbia Records earlier this summer, She & Him — the retro, AM radio-influenced pairing of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward — have announced plans for their major-label debut. Classics, the pair's fifth release, features 13 covers of classic songs, recorded live and accompanied by a 20-piece orchestra. M. Ward, who still maintains a solo career with She & Him's former label, Merge Records, helped arrange string parts for the album, which hits stores in the fall.

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Further details are still scarce, but the band did release a 44-second excerpt of the record on Tuesday. (Watch below.) In it, we hear Deschanel crooning Maxine Brown's "Oh No Not My Baby" over a sparse, stripped-down bed of jazz chords and R&B percussion. The orchestra sweeps into the picture during the final twelve seconds or so. It's gorgeous and laidback, a spot-on soundtrack for another week of hot, humid summer days.

After three studio albums, one holiday release and more than a half-decade's worth of shows, She & Him have already worked up a healthy catalog of covers. The pair tackled Skeeter Davis' version of "Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now" on Volume Two, recorded a one-off cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You" in 2010 (and later performed the song on Conan) and released a stripped-down, reverb-soaked version of the Beach Boys' "I Can Hear Music" as the B-side to their most successful single, "In the Sun."