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She & Him—the twee folk duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward—have shared two new tracks or, rather, two versions of the same new track.
“She Gives Her Love To Me” and “He Gives His Love To Me” are gender swapped love songs that are both tender, precious ballads that sound like something of a late-night, smoky lounge room act.
The two songs are part of MGM’s Universal Love project, an ongoing compilation series that released its first EP earlier this month featuring various artists altering wedding songs to gender-inclusive anthems for artists and listeners of any identity. Listen to the two new songs below.
“He Gives His Love to Me” and “She Gives Her Love to Me” are sparkling folk-pop tunes filled with crisp pedal steel guitar and charming, country horns as a dreamy Deschanel croons, “Hold me just a little bit longer / Say my name the way you used to.”
“We have always believed that love belongs to everyone—so love songs should too,” said She & Him in an interview with Rolling Stone. “What drew us to this project is that it opens up new ways of thinking about song writing. It would be amazing if our songs help to inspire other artists to engage with lyrics in a more open, and inclusive way.”
The Universal Love project has already featured Bob Dylan, St Vincent, Kesha, Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke, Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Valerie June covering love songs with flipped genders for the LGBTQ community. Examples include Dylan swapping the 1929 Great American Songbook classic “She’s Funny That Way” to “He’s Funny That Way” and St Vincent’s “Then She Kissed Me” reworking of The Crystals’ 1963 Phil Spector hit “Then He Kissed Me.
These two new tracks mark five years since we’ve received new music from the internationally acclaimed folk duo. The last time we heard from She & Him was in 2014 with their original album Classics, but they did release a holiday covers album, Christmas Party, in 2016. Since then, Deschanel has been busy wrapping up the final season of her Fox sitcom New Girl, while Ward released his solo record More Rain that same year.
Although it seems like She & Him have reunited specifically for the Universal Love project, we’re hoping this isn’t a one time thing and that more original music from the duo is in the works.