Contest:: Win signed copies of The Hottest State (book and CD)

We have a great contest - courtesy of the kind people at Filter - but since we are a music site, let's talk about the actual record we are giving away first. The premise behind the soundtrack to Ethan Hawke's new movie, The Hottest State is a pretty interesting. The skinny is simple - the film uses songs written by Jesse Harris.

Right now you might be saying, "who cares? Musicians score films all the time." Well, for this project, Harris gave his songs to some of the biggest hitters in music and they put their own spin on things. The result is impressive for many reasons. The first is obvious. Hawke and Harris assembled some of the most unique voices in music for this release, but despite the range of artists, no song sounds out of place. Not many records can feature M. Ward and Willie Nelson and have the songs mesh with bands like the Black Keys or Feist.

That leads me to the most impressive feat. The flexibility and strength of Jesse's song writing is mind boggling. I'm not sure if he gave them demos of his work and the artists ran with it, or he wrote tracks specifically in their honor, but it's uncanny how well the songs fit the artist. As a fairly large Willie Nelson fan (thanks to my Dad), I'd have assumed he penned Always Seem to Get Things Wrong. The same can be said of the modern twist Feist put to the sultry sounds on Somewhere Down the Road. Harris gathered attention by writing songs for Norah Jones (who makes an appearance on this soundtrack) and it's easy to see why he could be a very successful hired gun. The Black Keys track - If You Ever Slip - is a standout, but how easily the track flows into the trademark sounds of M. Ward (Crooked Lines) is impressive. You also get some songs from Jesse, Emmylou Harris, Cat Power and Bright Eyes.

Anyway. On to the goods.

We have a copy of the soundtrack signed by Jesse Harris and a copy of Hawke's book (the inspiration for the film) signed by the author himself. Not a bad little giveaway for a Friday afternoon. In the comments or email herohill [at] gmail, leave an artist you would have liked to see on this soundtrack and all your details. We will pick a winner next Friday.
MP3:: Always Seem to Get Things Wrong
MP3:: Somewhere Down the Road

@ 8:50 PM, Blogger Yellow Dog kicked the following game:

Without question I would have loved for Gillian Welch & Ravid Rawlings to have been included


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