There is a full-length soundtrack album that's just been released digitally on all major outlets. It includes the full score by composer Luis Guerra, as well as the instrumental and vocal bossa nova and tropicalia-inspired songs that you hear in the film including: "Brasília Bella" (in both English and Portuguese), "Wonder Bread," "Deadly Butterfly" (English and Portuguese), "Baked and Toasted," and "Make Maco." All music by Luis Guerra, lyrics by director Dan Mirvish and featured vocalist is Caro Pierotto.
Currently, traditional vinyl records are backlogged by up to a year, so instead, the 18½ team decided to make a limited run of two-song “Flexi” disc records, which will be available exclusively at select theatrical screenings only.
Though fondly remembered as promo discs in the West from the 1960-80s, this particular kind of Flexi was manufactured in a secret facility in the Czech Republic. This technique was developed behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War through the pressing of illegal pop songs onto old medical X-Rays. Our Flexi features the songs “Brasilia Bella” (English Version) and “Wonder Bread,” both of which are heard over the end credits of the film. The songs have music by Luis Guerra, lyrics by Dan Mirvish and vocals by Caro Pierotto. A truly international project, they were recorded by musicians working in studios in Los Angeles, Mexico City and Brazil.
Both songs are integral to the film. English, Portuguese and instrumental versions of “Brasilia Bella” appear in the film. Luis and Dan wrote the song early in the screenwriting process of 18½ itself, as a recurring theme for Connie. It is emblematic of the 1960's era of bossa nova multi-lingual crossover hits like "Girl from Ipanema," but lyrically and thematically owes more to the "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" theme song.
“Wonder Bread,” which is heard coming out of the Hippies’ 8-track player during the film, and then again in the end credits, is Dan and Luis' interpretation of the character Connie's journey through the whole movie itself, as an analogy to Alice in Wonderland. Notice that things only start getting weird for Connie once she eats the Wonder Bread in the diner.
The 18½ soundtrack was recently honored by BMI's Composer's Series playlist as #1 on a list that also included music from Dr. Strange by Danny Elfman, and such composers as Lady Gaga and Mark Mothersbaugh.
“The film also boasts a wonderful original musical score by brilliant Los Angeles composer Luis Guerra.”
- Monica Reid, Far Out Magazine
“Speaking of Bossa Nova, all the film's music was composed by Luis Guerra, an eclectic mix perfectly suited to this film's alternate period universe”
- Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
“a big brassy bossa nova score...the film emerges as a delightful bit of escapism.”
- Stephen Saito, The Moveable Feast
“I even liked the songs in the movie, which were written specifically for it, rather than trying to get some very expensive known '70's songs to enforce the film's period”
- Edward Douglas, The Weekend Warrior
“In this movie, violence breaks out to the sound of an early bossa nova!”
- Wesley Pereira de Castro, Críticas de um Cinema Nu
“The score by Luís Guerra brings Brazilian roots, inspired by Bossa Nova and Tropicalia, giving a dynamic rhythm to the movie.”
- Pedro Lima, Letterboxd (at São Paulo International Film Festival)
“The music is really fun in the film…. The other reason to sit through the credits is because these great songs, ‘Baked and Toasted,’ and there’s ‘Wonder Bread.’ Wonder Bread, which plays such a deadly menace in the film gets its own song!”
- Robert Bennett, KJFC-FM