Hear the Shins Get Wistful for Zach Braff on ‘So Now What’
The track was written specifically for 'Wish I Was Here' based on James Mercer's first impression of the movie
Giddiness over the arrival of a new Shins track has been substantial, delivering a hefty dose of publicity for Zach Braff’s new film, Wish I Was Here. And while the movie’s release is just a month away (out July 18), just as exciting is the soundtrack that’ll drop a few days earlier (July 15) with new songs by the Shins, Bon Iver, and Cat Power with Coldplay. And as revealed a couple days ago, that’ll be out on wax alongside the Garden State soundtrack.
We’d gotten a welcome taste of that new Shins song previously when about a minute’s worth appeared in the a trailer for the film, but today, the real deal has been delivered via NPR. As Zach Braff told All Things Considered, the song — titled “So Now What” — was written by frontman James Mercer at Braff’s request, based on the songwriter’s impression after seeing the film for the first time.
The anticipation surrounding the release of just one new song is strong, but not surprising. It’s been only two years since the Shins released Port of Morrow, but it feels like an indie-rock lifetime, as Mercer has been busy of late with his Danger Mouse collaboration Broken Bells. We half-assumed he wouldn’t come back to the seminal band that once, years ago — yeah, to quote Garden State — kind of changed our lives.
“So Now What” is a wistful three and a half minutes of cloudy pop that finds a single, solid hook and mostly sticks to it. Our favorite bits of the Shins are all there as the band’s delicate orchestration is pierced by Mercer’s sharp melodies, and given gravity by his words. Check out the track at NPR, and watch the aforementioned trailer below: