Swiss Army Man is the story of an outsider stranded on a deserted island who has given up all hope for a return to normalcy and the life he left behind. Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood) plays the lead, who fashions a noose out of an ugly rope and decides to end it all while standing atop a beverage cooler on the beach. As the noose tightens around his scruffy neck, he sees that a body has washed ashore. Intrigued, and barely escaping the clutches of his suicidal decision, he rushes to the man’s aid, only to find that it’s he himself who has died and only comical flatulence remains.
As the trailer continues, Dano and his magical, deceased corpse counterpart, played by Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), trudge through the forest, conquering every obstacle in their way, using Radcliffe’s body as a Swiss Army knife — fashioning a grappling hook from crutches and shooting the apparatus in the air via the dead man’s mouth, using his karate chop to make firewood, and, at one point, they even use his erection as a compass.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “What the hell are you blabbering about? Is this film a real thing?”
In fact, when the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016, Swiss Army Man won the Best Director or Directing award in the U.S. Dramatic category, and has since received an approval score of 73% on Rotten Tomatoes.
With such an interesting premise for a movie, the soundtrack needed to be equally captivating. Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, otherwise known as the directing duo Daniels, decided to reach out to Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull and Robert McDowell to help the cause. The duo had previously worked with Hull and McDowell for the visual interpretation of the Manchester Orchestra song “Simple Math,” which depicts a slow motion car crash that claims Hull’s life in the end.
What followed was a 13-month recording process for Swiss Army Man, with the Daniels even directing the musicians, encouraging them to not use any real instruments, the idea being that the characters in the movie would create their own soundtrack in their minds. According to an email Hull sent to the Manchester Orchestra mailing list, some of the songs they recorded have over a hundred voices in them, including the film’s two stars.
The first offering from the soundtrack is called “Montage,” an enchanting track that features vocals provided by Radcliffe and Dano, accompanied by handclaps and a sweeping chorus of voices led by Hull. Check it out below.
Swiss Army Man is out July 1, while the soundtrack will be released June 24.