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Ears & Fingers 7/10/14

By Jason Leger

On the Horizon: Wish I Was Here
A decade ago, I was 21 and still being acclimated to the world of music that didn’t occupy popular radio airwaves. Being the glassy-eyed nerd that I was, I loved the show “Scrubs” and was front and center when Zach Braff’s film “Garden State” finally premiered at the W Street Rave. The movie’s soundtrack introduced me to a few artists who would come to mean quite a bit to me over the following years, not the least of which being Iron & Wine and The Shins.

Now, ten years have passed and while that wide-eyed young man has become a jaded 31-year-old, the knowledge I gained from Zach Braff and “Garden State” still sticks with me. Braff’s latest movie, “Wish I was Here,” is being released nationwide this month and is already being hailed as living up to the appeal of its predecessor. Obviously this requires a soundtrack that will be nothing to sneeze at. Two tracks have already been released: the kind of phoned-in ‘So Now What’ by Braff’s golden boys, The Shins, and a new track that is everything one would expect from Bon Iver when it comes to backing a spiritual themed movie. ‘Heavenly Father’ is expansive and moving. The track builds, and if perfectly placed within the movie, has the capability of becoming heart-breaking. As for the rest of the soundtrack, I’ve only seen the listing so far, but there are songs from Gary Jules, Radical Face, The Head & The Heart, and the very odd combination of Cat Power and Coldplay, which makes me curious if either one of them actually likes the other’s art. Also included are classic tracks from Badly Drawn Boy, Paul Simon and another from Bon Iver. Be on the lookout as this is shaping up to be another classic Braff compiled soundtrack. “Music from the Motion Picture ‘Wish I Was Here’” is out July 15 via Columbia Records, and the film is in theaters everywhere July 18.

If You Haven’t Heard: Bear in Heaven
This might sound really lame, but when I first heard the name ‘Bear in Heaven,’ I wanted to like them based solely on that. It’s my humble opinion that Bear in Heaven are one of the most underrated bands around today. The trio make formatively smart and clean danceable pop, which generally builds into anthemic or chaotic proportions. The band originally entered my radar with 2009’s “Beast Rest Forth Mouth,” which was quite easily one of the most infectious albums I heard that year. This was also the case with 2012’s “I Love You, It’s Cool.” “Time is Over One Day Old,” the band’s latest and first for Dead Oceans, finds them honing a streamlined sound with a bit more darkness, a sharper edge and just a pinch of EDM. I think the label jump was a good decision as Dead Oceans stands to get quite a bit of attention this year with some strong releases, this surely being one of them. Check out the introspective lead single “Time Between” wherever you like to stream music. “Time is Over One Day Old” is due out Aug. 5 via Dead Oceans.

Track of the Week: Spoon-Do You
I think I have a new favorite Spoon song, which is saying a lot. Equal parts breezy and poignant, ‘Do You,’ is the second single from the band’s forthcoming album, “They Want My Soul,” and it premiered on Sirius XMU last week. If you’re a Spoon fan, you won’t be disappointed.