The Shins have another song that could “change your life,” as Natalie Portman proclaimed of their tune “New Slang” in the 2004 movie Garden State. And, like that film, it just happens to appear in another Zach Braff movie. The shimmery, lilting “So Now What,” which finds frontman James Mercer singing in a helium-like falsetto about beginning again, is streaming on NPR and will appear in Braff’s Wish I Was Here when it opens in theaters on July 18th. The movie’s soundtrack, due out July 15th, also features Paul Simon, Bon Iver and a duet featuring Cat Power and Coldplay.
“It’s no secret I am a giant fan of the Shins,” Braff told NPR. “For this film, I asked James Mercer if he would consider writing something original, inspired by his first impression of seeing the film. Not only did he say yes, but what he came back with gives me goose bumps every time I hear it. He is a savant.”
Regarding the soundtrack as a whole, Braff said that “nothing has been more gratifying than collaborating on this project with my favorite artists,” naming Bon Iver, Cat Power and Coldplay, in addition to Mercer’s band. “I never dreamed I’d get to work with so many of my favorite musicians on Wish I Was Here.”
Braff financed the movie, which he cowrote with his brother Adam, via Kickstarter and premiered it at Sundance in January. In the movie, Braff stars as struggling actor Aidan Bloom who reaches a turning point in his life where he must homeschool his kids, take care of his sick father and work out a rocky relationship with his wife. The cast includes Mandy Patinkin, Kate Hudson, Jim Parsons, Ashley Greene, Josh Gad and Joey King, among others.