The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
When I watch a new show or movie, I am always listening for new music to add to my playlists. Whether it’s an old favorite or a new release, film and television are great avenues for finding songs to play over and over again. Euphoria is the perfect show for exposing their viewers to a large variety of music and here are three reasons why:
1. Labrinth has a huge amount of music credits under his belt.
First, I want to establish that when Euphoria first debuted in 2019, I was not interested in watching the show, primarily because I am absolutely abysmal at keeping up with T.V. shows no matter how interested I am. Despite this, I was a fan of Labrinth’s music the moment the show began. Labrinth, despite collaborating with a multitude of high-profile artists such as Sia, The Weeknd and Rihanna, was largely unknown to me until he became the lead composer of the show. However, after discovering his vast portfolio, I can only describe his music as a tour de force.
I highly recommend listening to Labrinth’s work pre-Euphoria — some personal favorites include his work with The Weeknd on “Stargirl Interlude” and Noah Cyrus’ debut song “Make Me (Cry)” — but the real triumph, in my opinion, has been his works for season one of Euphoria. If you’d like to hear the man’s fascinating and experimental vocals, listen to “Formula,” “When I R.I.P” or “All For Us” (featuring lead actress and singer Zendaya’s super-smooth voice). If you want to hear how Labrinth expertly manipulates electronic, dance and hip hop sounds to complement the chaos, fear and wonder of the show, look no further than “Nate Growing Up,” “The Lake” and “Demanding Excellence.” I would also highly recommend listening to the whole album in order after watching the complete first season, as it will really allow you to see how Labrinth perfectly encapsulated the events of the season.
2. There are plenty of throwbacks, known and unknown.
Everyone loves a good throwback and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one whose parents made sure to teach their children about their favorite music from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. I was thoroughly educated on the joys of U2, Duran Duran and Depeche Mode discographies and Euphoria seasons make sure to remind their listeners just how good throwbacks like these are. Absolute gems like “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” by DMX and “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” by Cutting Crew communicate both the party atmospheres and the frankly absurd amounts of violence that take place in so many of the episodes. If you don’t like pop-rock or hip hop, there are other genres to incite nostalgia, like Judy Garland’s rendition of the Broadway song “Come Rain or Come Shine” or Selena’s Tejano-style “Como La Flor.”
There is also no shortage of old songs to discover for the first time; I have personally been unable to get “Right Down the Line” by Gerry Rafferty out of my head since Season 2’s first episode aired and we got to experience the unsettling drug queenpin Laurie and her absolutely unhinged gang. Some other songs that immediately made it to my regular rotation are “Mystify” by INXS, “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over” by Lenny Kravitz and “The Look” by Roxette.
3. While there are a ton of oldies, there’s also newer artists from a variety of genres featured.
Let’s face it: the music of our parents’ teenage years are excellent and worthy of our playlists but there’s nothing like an artist more recent in pop culture to make the characters of Euphoria more relatable. Zoomers love to hear the music they’re listening to featured on a show because it allows them to identify with the characters. This is especially necessary when watching Euphoria because the show rarely aligns with viewers’ true high school experiences. Watching a party scene with “Mi Gente” by J. Balvin, “Nonstop” by Drake or “Runway” by Blaq Tuxedo featured feels very much like a genuine party experience; viewers would feel nostalgic enough to add these songs back to their party playlists or play the song the next time they’re getting ready to go out.
Euphoria has also given exposure to artists whose songs will no doubt rise even more in popularity by being featured on the show. Orville Peck is an artist that I’ve heard of but whose music I had never listened to; his gorgeous tone and mixture of New Wave and Country sound in “Dead of Night” is something I never knew I needed. Newcomer Raia Was is also featured in Jules’ earbuds in the second episode of season 2; though you can’t quite hear her voice on the show (it’s apparently easier to hear in the director’s cut of the episode), a little research will reveal her song “You Are,” which is a dreamy piece with rippling vocals that are well worth a spot on my “midnight drives: in deep thought” playlist.
There are so many more songs that I discovered due to this highly addictive show but I’ll stop for now. You can find soundtrack lists from every episode online if you need names to go with your new favorites but I also recommend turning the captions on as you watch; most song titles and artist names will pop up as the song is introduced. Happy watching, listening and playlist-curating!