Zooey Deschanel and her bandmate are "like 21st century pen pals."

The actress-and-singer is about to release for fourth LP with her She & Him bandmate Mathew 'M' Ward.

She and M are both so busy with their own projects that they start from scratch when they finally meet up to record new tracks.

"We're like 21st century pen pals that get together once a year to make a record," Zooey told Q magazine. "I never know what his ideas are until we get in the studio, so we hit the ground running. I love working quickly like that because you never get stuck in your own head."

Zooey, 33, is also the star of US sitcom New Girl, in which she plays loveable dork Jess. Meanwhile, M, 39, is also a solo musician and a member of band Monsters of Folk. The pair balance each other out as artists.

"It's like, I have a little more honey and he has a little more vinegar," she said. As the pair's last collaboration was a Christmas record, their new album is simply entitled Volume 3. Of all the tracks, M says one called Together is his favourite.

"I'm proudest of that song because it's our newest sound," he said. "I see all the volumes as one long beautiful record, and this is just the next chapter."