It doesn’t always go well when actors decide to sing or singers decide to act — well, the latter is often just fine, but the former can be disastrous. (I’ve mentioned my Lisa Whelchel album before … it’s seriously awful!) But in the cases of Scarlett Johansson and Zooey Deschanel, the swapping of scripts for songs might turn out to be just fine.
Oops, I guess I’ve made it look like they’re singing duets or something. No; these are separate albums. Too bad — they could have called their first release ScarZo Sings!
Deschanel’s first collaboration with indie fave M. Ward, under the name She & Him, was released this week. Zooey has a musical past — she plays the banjo — and the reviews are mostly positive so far. Says BlogCritics.org, “I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but Deschanel sounds as cute as she looks.”
Zooey wrote nine of the songs on the album. You can stream all of Volume One from the Merge Records site. My favorite so far is “Sweet Darlin’.”
And here’s a clip of She & Him performing “Lonesome Town,” which is not on the album. The video quality is bad, but the audio is decent. Zooey has a very pure voice and a charming style. Dare I mention Dusty Springfield or Patsy Cline or Ronnie Spector? That’s the vibe I get, and it definitely makes me want to hear more.
Meanwhile, Johansson’s first album, Anywhere I Lay My Head, is a collection of Tom Waits covers. It’s set to debut later this year. I’m not a big fan of Tom Waits, but his oeuvre might be a good match for Scarlett’s husky voice.
New promo photos were released this week, and they’re certainly … quirky.
What on earth is going on in this next one? It’s like Scarlett: The Albino Sessions.
And this one makes me think of the movie Blue Velvet (eek):
I kinda like this one, though, even though she almost looks dead:
I dunno, Scarlett. Zooey has set the bar pretty high, so good luck — no doubt the record will sell for the novely factor alone. But I like a little genius with my gimmicks.
Visit the She & Him MySpace page for more Zooey, and stay tuned for more Scarlett (I’m sure the news will be everywhere when the album drops).