If ever someone asks for a book that represents some of the best sci-fi of the 21st century, I immediately point them directly towards Ezra Claytan Daniels’ Upgrade Soul. This graphic novel, about an elderly couple that volunteers for a procedure that results in the creation of intellectually superior but grotesque copies of themselves, is already emblematic of the unstable ethics that surround scientific inquiry. When Readers looking to further immerse themselves in the story have Alexis Gideon‘s soundtrack for Upgrade Soul to look forward to as record company For Practically Everyone will be releasing a special vinyl edition of it this fall.
The soundtrack can best be described as hauntingly unique, with jazz, hip hop, and even giallo influences (think Goblins and Dario Argento movies) reflecting the characters’ surprise and confusion as to the new creations’ abilities and personalities. It’s equally unsettling and compelling.
Gideon is known for creating animated video operas that seem to get a lot of inspiration from David Lynch and even Alejandro Jodorowsky movies, and their soundtracks. The music itself is driven by a multifaceted sense of storytelling that challenges listeners to decipher its beats and the driving forces behind them, which falls in line quite perfectly with Claytan Daniels’ story.
Upgrade Soul’s soundtrack will be available in two formats: an unlimited black vinyl edition and a limited deluxe edition which includes a signed print by Claytan Daniels. The latter is capped at 100 copies worldwide and comes in a translucent orange and red vinyl.
Those who order either version of the soundtrack through the FPE Records online store can bundle the purchase with the Upgrade Soul graphic novel at discount price. This offer is available exclusively online direct from FPE Records.
For more on Upgrade Soul check out Philippe LeBlanc’s review of the book for The Beat, found here.
Ricardo Serrano is a Social Studies teacher with a Master’s Degree in Comic Books from the University of Dundee in Scotland. He’s also the co-creator of Se Habla Comics, a Puerto Rican podcast geared towards Spanish-speaking comic book readers.