She & Him, the folk duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, unveiled a new song with two versions, “She Gives Her Love to Me” and “He Gives His Love to Me,” for MGM Resorts’ expanding Universal Love project.
Universal Love launched earlier this month and featured artists like Bob Dylan and Kesha covering classic love songs with flipped genders in an effort to be more inclusive for the LGBTQ community. The project inspired She & Him to craft their own song and record it two different ways.
“He Gives HIs Love to Me”/”She Gives Her Love to Me” is a charming folk-pop tune laced with crisp horns and sparkling pedal steel guitar. “He/She said love me just a little bit more,” Deschanel sings, “Hold me just a little bit longer/ Say my name the way you used to.”
Deschanel and Ward tell Rolling Stone, “We have always believed that love belongs to everyone – so love songs should too. What drew us to this project is that it opens up new ways of thinking about songwriting. It would be amazing if our songs help to inspire other artists to engage with lyrics in a more open, and inclusive way.”
“He Gives His Love to Me”/”She Gives Her Love to Me” marks the first original song for Universal Love. The project’s inaugural six-track EP also featured covers by St. Vincent, Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke.
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As for She & Him, the songs mark the duo’s first new music in five years. Their last original album, Classics, arrived in 2014, while they released their holiday album, Christmas Party, in 2016.