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Digital Griffix Awards nominee in the Best Original song category

Congratulations to Blanco White, Jon Altham

"Eyes Wide Open" (from "North Star" soundtrack)

A raw, heartfelt acoustic record that highlights the struggles and difficulties of poverty, isolation and grief between a rural rancher and his ailing husband.

Genre: Americana, Roots, Folk Keywords: Americana, Roots, Folk, Grief, Isolation, Heartfelt, Bittersweet, Raw, Acoustic, Soundtrack, Easy Listening

BEHIND THE RECORD: Written in the midst of the pandemic, “Eyes Wide Open” is song written from the perspective of both James (Colman Domingo) and his ailing husband Craig (Malcolm Gets). Inspired by their quiet and secluded ranch, surrounded by mountains, this Record provides a heartfelt and bittersweet ending to the final scenes of the film. In their house, stacks of overdraft letters, foreclosure warnings and default notices sit on the counter. There are several photos of a happy man proudly riding North Star, a beautiful Palomino horse.

In the final scenes, Craig lays awake connected to an oxygen tube. He is only a shadow of the man he was in the photos with North Star. The first verse of the Song is from Craig’s perspective, offering comfort to James stating that he understands why he needed to sell his beloved horse in order to help support his medical needs:

I Know You Eyes Wide Open All You Can See Let Out If My Spirit’s Broken It Never Made A Sound I’m Here But You Can’t Follow Long Gone Out Of Reach To Forget What I’ve Forgotten But The Truth Is Love Won’t Let Me Be

Towards the final verse, the Song references James, sharing a raw perspective of grief at Craig’s eventual passing:

I Walk And The Air Felt Heavy Dust Spread Across The Room I Know How I Got Here But I Came Here Far Too Soon You Saw Me Break A Promise That Was Not Meant To Be Don’t Forgive Me Till Its Honest When Your Minds Changed A Sign Is All I Need

The conception of the Record came from Jon Altham, the Film’s Music Director and Composer of the Score. After watching the film for the first time, Jon planned to produce a Song for the end of the Film which was raw, delicate and complimentary to the narrative of the Film. Listening to much of Blanco White’s music in the past, and being a fan of his music, he approached Blanco White to work with him on producing an original song for the film.

Known for his songwriting and otherworldly tunes, Blanco White brings together Andalusian and Latin American influences while keeping his English musical roots. With his increasingly accomplished EPs he has become a streaming sensation with 150m+ streams globally, a staple of thousands of Spotify playlists, now with fans all over the world. Blanco’s involvement brought this concept to life, blending his musical influences and style with a haunting and devastatingly delicate vocal performance.

Written during the pandemic, Blanco performed this live in his home, with the Recording and Writing Session all done remotely. Once completed, it was then Mixed by Jake Jackson. Among the UK’s most sought-after names in film score engineering and mixing, Jake’s projects have been recognised industry wide with Awards from Oscars, BAFTAs and GRAMMYs, to BRITs, and Golden Globes. Jake’s mix brought a tasteful layer to the final production, carefully engineered in a way that brought out the nuances of both Blanco’s vocal and music performance.

Ending it’s journey at Abbey Road Studios, “Eyes Wide Open” was Mastered by Alex Wharton. Known for his work with the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Marvin Gaye, and many more, Alex has worked on countless world renowned records. Having worked with Blanco on his previous EP “Colder Heavens” Alex careful crafted the final master.

The outcome, a raw, delicate and heartfelt Record. At it’s core, “Eyes Wide Open” is inspired by a heartbreaking and devastating story of love, loss, and commitment. Although bittersweet and emotionally driven, it’s acoustic textures and heartfelt vocals makes it suitable and easy listening for all audiences.

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