'The Hottest State' Gets an All-Star Soundtrack

Jesse Harris

Jesse Harris wrote the Hottest State soundtrack in its entirety, and enlisted a star-packed roster to perform it. hide caption

itoggle caption

When Ethan Hawke was in the process of adapting his novel The Hottest State into a film, the writer/actor/director turned to longtime friend Jesse Harris to assemble its all-important soundtrack. Rather than merely write an orchestral score and compile an assortment of other artists' songs, Harris wrote the soundtrack in its entirety and enlisted a star-packed roster to perform it.

The Hottest State's soundtrack — integral to the movie's plot — contains a handful of Harris' own performances, as well some of his score. But the album is especially notable for the exclusive performances by its guests, who include Willie Nelson, Norah Jones, Feist, Emmylou Harris, M. Ward, Cat Power and others. Harris commissioned the covers himself, even coaching Nelson through a recording session in which the country legend showed up, heard the song for the first time and nailed the finished version on the third take.

Harris, who also released a new studio album (Feel) earlier this summer, recently sat down to discuss his involvement in the film — he also appears as an actor — as well as the process by which he wrote and commissioned its music.

Purchase Featured Music

Feel

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Album
Feel
Artist
Jesse Harris

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

The Hottest State

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Album
The Hottest State
Artist
Original Soundtrack

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.