Soundtrack to 'Upgrade Soul' Graphic Novel Coming This Fall

Alexis Gideon's score to the critically acclaimed book by Ezra Claytan Daniels will be released through Chicago's For Practically Everyone Records.
Ezra Claytan Daniels/FPE Records

Ezra Claytan Daniels’ Upgrade Soul — a graphic novel about an elderly couple who volunteer for an experimental procedure that results in the creation of disfigured, yet intellectually superior, duplicates of themselves — gained a lot of attention and praise when it was released through Lion Forge last year. This September, the project itself will evolve with the vinyl release of the soundtrack for the project, Heat Vision can exclusively reveal.

The soundtrack was composed by noted artist, composer and performer Alexis Gideon, known for both his work with the band Princess and his solo Video Musics series of animated operas. The soundtrack had previously only been available via the multimedia Upgrade Soul app.

"We designed the app to center the soundtrack almost as much as the story itself, so to me it's an inextricable part of the Upgrade Soul reading experience,” writer/artist Claytan Daniels says about the music. “And since Alexis finished the music well before I finished the comic, it became a tonal anchor for me. I frequently had the Upgrade Soul soundtrack playing as I wrote and drew — it's a pretty amazing experience to be able to create to your own custom soundtrack!"

“Working with Ezra on this project was so fun,” Gideon adds. “I love the art and the story of Upgrade Soul so much. I tried to draw out some of the unsettling and cinematic sci-fi/horror undertones of the book with Morricone and Carpenter-esque compositions. The inquisitive philosophical nature of the book allowed me to explore more searching and soundscape compositions, and Ezra never does anything without humor — something we have in common — so it was super fun to work on some more tongue-in-cheek moments, too."

The soundtrack will be released by Chicago’s For Practically Everyone Records in two formats: a regular black vinyl edition and a limited deluxe edition, which features translucent orange vinyl (complete with red markings) and a signed print by Claytan Daniels. Only 100 copies of the latter will be released worldwide.

“It's such a privilege to have the opportunity to dive into comics world, and to put an object in people's hands that bridges my two great loves, comics and records,” says FPE Records’ founder Matt Pakulski. “I’m deeply honored that it's for this amazing novel and that I'm able to work with these creators who create such gorgeous, unclassifiable images and music and narrative.”

The soundtrack is currently available for pre-order via FPE Records, with purchase options including a bundle for both editions of the vinyl that include copies of the Upgrade Soul graphic novel.

News of the soundtrack release comes as the graphic novel is in contention for an Eisner Award in the Best Graphic Album – Reprint category, with the results to be announced at next month’s San Diego Comic-Con. Additionally, Upgrade Soul is in development as a feature film, courtesy of Aperture Entertainment.