The 80s reeks of nostalgia, and the feeling bites harder in fur-lined bomber jackets and Walkman CD Players. Even millennials have found a penchant for the past, most notably in old John Hughes reruns,. and as of recent, the Netflix original series Stranger Things, which is now airing it’s highly anticipated second season for all your binge-watching needs. Focused on the return of Will Byers, it touches on the changes in Hawkins, Indiana since Byers was resurrected from the Upside Down a year before. Featuring a fresh set of characters from the West Coast, an enigma of a (new) monster, an even more bad ass Eleven, and surely a bigger budget, the season is matched with a score by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein of S U R V I V E. Together the duo created sounds electronic and eerie enough to shake the Demogorgon to its bones (if it has them).
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
“To Be Continued” – Chapter Four: Will the Wise
An edgier sibling of the original title track, “To Be Continued” emulates a heavily beating heart through its drum-heavy and echoing synth productions. At this point in the show, Hopper’s digging through the old field in Hawkins with the, rumored, “infested pumpkins.” Discovering a gooey substance as opposed to seeds, he finds himself in a tunnel flooded with floating particles and a supernatural blue light. The few seconds we see of it alone, it’s clear that this place is lurking with the unfamiliar.
“Walkin In Hawkins” – Chapter Six: The Spy
The first single off of the compilation of tracks for the season, “Walkin In Hawkins” immediately stands out with its synths that cascade up and down, shimmering all the way through. It’s rather contemplative, fitting the amount of analysis going through Dustin’s brain as he’s trying to find his new “pet,” Dart. In this ongoing attempt, he goes with Steve to the area with the infamous bus from season one, where they meet up with Lucas and the new girl, Max, much to Dustin’s heartbroken jealousy. Him and Lucas hash out the consequences to letting Max in on their secret, and reconcile like we’re all hoping.
“The First Lie” – Chapter Six: The Spy
Essentially the precursor to a ‘when in Rome’ song, “The First Lie” sounds like the built-up of tension between Jonathan and Nancy’s unforsaken romance that we’ve seen for over a season, equal parts dizzying, mystical, satisfying. The two are spending the night at Murray’s place, the private investigator hired by Nancy’s late best friend’s, Barbara’s, parents to look into her mysterious death. While there, Murray sees what everyone else has seen since the beginning of the series: the two teens are fighting a feeling that they clearly can’t any longer. Realizing this, they end up meeting up in the living area between their two separate rooms at Murray’s, and everything culminates all at once.
“We Go out Tonight” – Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister
Equally ominous and purposeful, “We Go out Tonight” haunts the show with electric guitars that give the track an angry edge. The mood is fitting with Eleven’s new attitude as she ventures out of Hawkins and into Chicago, where she goes to meet Eight (Kali), the girl she saw in the laboratory with her in a flashback to when they were young. Kali sees the power that Eleven has, and prepares her for a night out of avenging those who hurt them in their youth.
“Soldiers” – Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer
As if the whole gang was preparing for war, “Soldiers” screeches loudly and reigns strong with prominent drumming and nostalgic, new wave-esque, synth production. Understanding that the Mind Flayer has taken over Will’s body but knowing that there’s a shred of him still inside, they construct a “heating chamber” of sorts to burn the monster out of him while jogging his memory.
“The Return” – Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer
A later homage to “Soldiers,” “The Return” appears more spacy and fit for the silver-screen, beginning with synths meant to sound ethereal. As everyone’s hiding out in the Byers house from the monster that’s been unleashed — and arming themselves for the ones to come — they see the door hinge unlock before them without a touch in sight. With anticipation building up to see who, or what’s, behind it, Eleven marches through the door, like the badass she is, making an entrance awaited by all.
You can listen to the rest of the Stranger Things 2 soundtrack here on Spotify