She & Him, the indie duo comprised of M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel, have just joined the majors. Columbia Records, the Sony Music subsidiary run by chairman Rob Stringer, has signed the twosome, a rep for the label confirms, marking She & Him's exit from independent label Merge Records. A new album is expected in the fall.
With a penchant for traditional American folk, country and classic pop, She & Him have released four albums on Merge since 2008, including three Volume-titled albums and a Christmas record, totaling just over one million (1.07) in sales. Their best seller was the 2011 holiday album "A Very She & Him Christmas," which moved 391,000.
Ward and Deschanel met in 2007 through Martin Hynes, the director of the film "The Go-Getter." Hynes had asked the film's star Deschanel to perform a duet with Ward, who produced the movie's soundtrack. Their first album Volume One was produced by Ward and recorded in Portland. It went on to sell 311,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The duo also performed songs for the 2011 "Winnie the Pooh" soundtrack.