Bon Iver Wrote a Song About Brotherly Love Called ‘Heavenly Father’ for Zach Braff: Listen

By Shannon Carlin

Justin Vernon is honoring his dear ol’ dad on Bon Iver’s new song, “Heavenly Father” off the soundtrack to Zach Braff’s latest film, Wish I Was Here.

In an interview with NPR, music supervisor Mary Ramos said she flew to Wisconsin to screen a rough-cut of the film for Vernon and his brother Nate. After the movie was done, Vernon and his brother started talking about the relationship between Braff’s character and his brother, played by Josh Gad, and their relationship with their father.

“All the while Justin kept distractedly humming,” Ramos said. “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.”

On the track, Vernon sings “I am free now,” over one surprisingly beautiful foghorn.

Related: Listen to the Shins Try to Change Zach Braff’s Life Again with ‘So Now What’

Listen to the song via NPR here.

The last Bon Iver record came out in 2011. Last year, Vernon released his second album with his band, Volcano Choir.

According to Braff, the director/Shins loyalist asked singer James Mercer to think about writing something original for the movie “inspired by his first impression of seeing the film.”

“Not only did he say yes,” Braff wrote of the Shins track “So Now What,” “but what he came back with gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. He is a savant.”

Along with The Shins and Bon Iver, the soundtrack (out July  15) for the Kickstarter-funded film features music from Cat PowerHead and the Heart and Coldplay.

Watch the trailer for Wish I Was Here, which is set to debut in New York and Los Angeles on July 18 before opening in additional cities on July 25, below.



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