Netflix's 'Stranger Things' Will Release Its Glorious Soundtrack
If you fell in love with the synthy soundtrack to Stranger Things, you will soon be able to snatch up a copy and blast it in your headphones while you wander around the woods.
Matt and Ross Duffer's Stranger Things is set in Midwest suburbia in 1983, tugging at the nostalgia of anyone who, like its protagonists, were children of the 80s. The dark, synth-heavy score comes by way of Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, two members of Austin-based band S U R V I V E, according to Pitchfork. The show announced the release of the original soundtrack via a Facebook post, and while there's no specific date attached to this announcement, it does say "soon."
Dixon told the L.A. Times that he's not sure how the Duffer brothers found his band, but it is known that they used one of the band's songs in an early trailer they used when pitching the show. Dixon and Stein wound up writing themes for various characters in the show based on their descriptions, which the producers incorporated into the audition process when casting. S U R V I V E will release their own album in September, and you can check out some of their tracks here.
In addition to the original music, the show also used several recognizable 70s and 80s songs, including The Bangles' "Hazy Shade of Winter" (1985), Echo & The Bunnyman's "Nocturnal Me" (1984), and The Clash's "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" (1982). The latter song was, of course, incorporated heavily into the plot of the show.
Stranger Things would not be the only recent horror offering to rely on a retrowave/synthwave score that harkens back to 80s slashers and sci-fi flicks. It Follows (2014), a horror film about a young girl who was being stalked around the Detroit area by a mysterious and persistent entity, took a similar tone with its Halloween-esque soundtrack from video game composter Disasterpeace. The Guest and, of course, Drive had similarly-vibed soundtracks.
If you need something to tide you over while you wait for the Stranger Things soundtrack, there is a whole treasure trove of retrowave/synthwave cuts that can be found online. The genre actually emerged in the 2000s, but is meant to evoke the same feelings brought about by 80s soundtrack composers like John Carpenter (Dark Star, Assault on Precinct 13), Vangelis (Blade Runner) and Tangerine Dream (Sorcerer, Firestarter). Might we direct your attention to Retro Promenade's synth take on the Angelo Badalementi score to Twin Peaks? Or perhaps this entire YouTube channel? And if you're looking for something a little more tongue-in-check, there's always that jam David Hasselhoff recorded for 80s action movie parody Kung Fury.