The only upside to being sick recently was that it gave me an excuse to stay in and binge watch the new season of Stranger Things. One of the best parts of Stranger Things, along with everything Steve Harrington does, is the music. Between the composer’s beautifully erie score and the greatest song of all time, Africa by Toto, the Stranger Things soundtrack knows the magic of a tasteful synth. In honor of the second season, here’s a playlist featuring songs that remind me of the story, as well as some soundtrack highlights. (Warning! Some spoiler alerts in the song descriptions. If you haven’t seen season two at this point, though, it’s really your own fault. If you haven’t seen the show at all, why did you click on this article?)
1. Team – Lorde
I chose this song because it’s about the power of friendship, a theme heavily emphasized throughout seasons 1 and 2.
2. Souls – Hippo Campus
Another song about friendship and brotherhood, with a bit of a spooky take on growing up. Perfect for Stranger Things.
3. I Melt With You – Modern English
Just a great song from the soundtrack. Also featured in the classic film Sky High.
4. Bros – Wolf Alice
What a surprise – another cute song about friendship!
5. Big Sis – SALES
A whole episode this season was devoted to Eleven finding her “big sis,” and while the episode was heavily critiqued, it did show a new side to an often one-dimensional character and provided some beautiful moments of character development.
6. Youth – Glass Animals
A fun, catchy song that’s heartbreaking on close inspection. It’s about a mother being forced to give up a child – like Eleven’s mom had to.
7. The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home – Declan McKenna
Mike Wheeler would love this song about clueless parents and kids banding together.
8. An Encounter – The 1975
A beautiful instrumental that reminds me of the scene where the boys first encountered Eleven in the woods.
9. Like a River Runs – Bleachers
A big, 80’s inspired track about loss, love and light that would fit nicely on the soundtrack.
10. Don’t Lie – Vampire Weekend
“Friends don’t lie.”
11. Buzzcut Season – Lorde
While Eleven’s buzzcut has grown out since season one, this song still focuses on the show’s theme of kids against the world.
12. Eulogy – Kyle Dixon
My favorite song on the new season’s soundtrack – a delicate instrumental featured in some of the show’s best scenes.
13. Heroes – David Bowie
Stranger Things is at its core about a bunch of people who want to be or are forced to be heroes. This song captures all the emotions that come with that.