She & Him & Yo La Tengo & Conan

M. Ward recently told the New York Times:

As long as people are listening to the songs first and not getting too caught up with who is making the songs, I’m happy.

Agreed, and the surprisingly good Volume One would probably benefit from that. But when Him is Matt Ward, and She is the undeniable Zooey Deschanel, and you show up to Conan with Yo La Tengo as your backing band, it’s tough not to get “too caught up” in the credits. So, it’s the “kill ‘em with cred” strategy, and ultimately it’s worth it: Zooey’s impressed with her first record, singing and writing wise. She picked a guy to produce who clearly understands who she is. So the record’s a hit, now it’s time for the live show. SXSW saw her nervous. Last night on Conan saw her mostly the same, although it sounded nice. There’s a couple of times where you can see her brain working (“Remember Zooey, SMILE!”), but all in all it’s a step in a more confident direction. The song is lead single “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” which ends on a ragtag jam spearheaded by Yo La Tengo, complete with some improv Ira piano plinking … sorta makes us sad we didn’t hit Webster Hall last night.

Georgia, Ira, and James are in their element. Hot licks, Matt. Hot everything, Zooey. For keeps:

She & Him – “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here” (MP3)

Volume One is out via Merge.