Hear Ethan Hawke Sing Conor Oberst’s New Song “LAX” From The Juliet, Naked Soundtrack

Juliet, Naked comes out this Friday. The film is an adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel of the same name — the same mind behind High Fidelity and About A Boy. It features Ethan Hawke as a reclusive cult singer-songwriter, who falls in love with a character played by Rose Byrne. The movie features some new fictional songs written by real-life musicians, among them Ryan Adams, Conor Oberst, M. Ward, and Robyn Hitchcock.

Billboard just debuted the first track we’re hearing from the movie’s official soundtrack. It’s called “LAX” and was written by Oberst. We’re treated to the original demo that Oberst recorded as well as the one that Hawke sings in the film.

Producer Nathan Larson had this to say about the track:

Conor had demoed this as a ballad on piano, and we recorded something in this slower contemplative style for the film. But in the final recording session, it was Ethan who had a burst of inspiration and pushed the band to track ‘LAX’ as a rave-up punky thing, which is the version actually heard in the movie.

The greatest challenge on a project where music looms so large is to create songs that feel real, and elicit performances that enhance this authenticity. To the extent that we succeeded in this effort, I credit Ethan’s complete commitment to the music, his insistence on pushing himself as a vocalist….and equally the excellent material like Conor’s ‘LAX.’

Listen to both versions of the track below.

The Juliet, Naked soundtrack comes out this Friday (8/17) alongside the movie.