Bon Iver Employs Electronic Choir for New Track 'Heavenly Father'

Wisconsin crooner contributes meditative song to Zach Braff's 'Wish I Was Here' soundtrack

Bon Iver.
D.L. Anderson.
June 30, 2014 2:40 PM ET

Zack Braff got his soundtrack game on lock. A decade after injecting indie rock into the mainstream with Garden State, the actor/director returns with his new film Wish I Was Here that’s accompanied by more great tunes. The Shins' exclusive contribution to WIWH was revealed two weeks ago, and now you can listen to Bon Iver's new one by heading over to NPR. "Heavenly Father" finds Justin Vernon looping angelic coos to create an electronic choir before his robust voice enters on this reflective yet upbeat (by Bon Iver standards at least) track.

Zach Braff and 20 People You Won't Believe Have Grammys

Wish I Was Here is the quasi-follow-up to Braff's breakout Garden State. The film was made thanks to $3 million raised on Kickstarter, but it sounds as though Wish I Was Here was just an excuse for Braff to craft another kickass soundtrack. "As a music lover, nothing has been more gratifying than collaborating on this project with my favorite artists," Braff told NPR. "Between The Shins, Bon Iver, Cat Power and Coldplay ... I never dreamed I'd get to work with so many of my favorite musicians on Wish I Was Here." Bon Iver's single "Holocene" also features on the soundtrack, which arrives July 15th, while the film itself will see wide release on July 25th.

In an interview with NPR, Wish I Was Here music supervisor Mary Ramos talked about how she flew to Wisconsin to screen the film for Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and his brother Nate. "They were enjoying it and laughing, but at a certain point, they just got quiet," Ramos said. "When it was over, Justin started humming. We talked afterwards about the relationship between Zach's character and his brother [Josh Gad], and Justin and Nate talked a little about their father — all the while Justin kept distractedly humming. Eventually, he sang out the words 'heavenly father.' Before I even left their house, Justin was recording the first version of the song in his downstairs studio. His inspiration was that immediate."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

More Song Stories entries »