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  • November 9th, 2017

    10 Songs to Listen to After You Binge Watch Stranger Things 2 (SPOILERS)

    Stranger Things has begun it’s second tenure filled with an array of new characters that expands the world of Hawkins, Indiana. The evil of the Upside Down returns to menace Will Byers once again as he deals with the supernatural affecting his psyche. While Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Hopper, Joyce, and the rest of the town adjusts to this new norm.

    Filled with a somber and eerie soundtrack, as well as the usual blend of eighties pop galore, Stranger Things emphasis on music curation paralleling the mood and theme of the show is as important as the content. Here is our selection of songs that’ll elaborate on the storylines and overall themes of Stranger Things (spoiler alert)!

    1. “The Killing Moon” – Echo and the Bunnymen

    Released in January 1984, this haunting song really sets the tone of our Stranger Things 2 soundtrack. Will Byers is in constant in conflict as he encounters and is overtaken by the Mind Flayer. A year after the events of the first season, Will experiences episodes of being transported to the Upside Down where he is eventually imprisoned by the “Shadow Monster.” The ability to manipulate Will to “spy” for the malevolent entity is slowly unearthed through the nine episodes as well as it’s connection to the “Demo-dogs” and the “vines” infecting Hawkins. Ian McCulloch’s famous line “fate up against your will” ties together the general theme of following a higher power.

    2. “Band on the Run” – Paul McCartney and the Wings

    “Band on the Run” is the title song of Paul McCartney and Wings’ 1973 album Band on the Run. The single sold over one million copies in 1974 in America and has since become one of the band’s most famous songs. Throughout the second season, Eleven longs to see Mike and the rest of her friends as Chief Hopper strongly warns Eleven to not leave the confines of their cabin, hidden deep within the woods of Hawkins. A year essentially after the first incident, Eleven grows tired and frustrated with the isolation and decides to find Terry, her biological mother and Kali, her fellow lab test subject – after discovering a secret box of classified files regarding her and Hawkins Lab testing’s. “Band on the Run” soundtracks the scenes when Eleven heads to Chicago to find Kali.

    3. “See Through Dreams” – Death

    “See Through Dreams” appears on the 1991 album, Human. Will’s clairvoyant ability is heavily featured throughout the new episodes as he could see and project, through drawings, the location and actions of Mind Flayer. His unique ability is often triggered through random occurrences and or traumatic events which transfers his mind to the Upside Down. Will is manipulated by the hive mind and is controlled to expand the takeover of the Shadow Monster. “See Through Dreams”, the sixth track off Death’s 1991 album Human, paints an image of sight seeing through supernatural/extraterrestrial means. “In my dreams my thoughts take their form… the ability to connect sight with sound” emits an eerie and almost magical feel that resembles the aura surrounding Will’s new found ability.

    4. “Kill Again” – Slayer

    These lyrics say it all! “Lurking in the dismal fog. Hungry for your blood. Seeking harmless victims.” The Demogorgans and Demo-dogs are on a constant hunting spree – itching to kill and mutilate any living organism in the town of Hawkins. Chief Hopper along with the Hawkins Lab’s military force/scientists are overwhelmed with the blood lusting creatures. After the hive mind began to fully develop within the town, the demo-dogs started multiplying in numbers – spawning from the Upside Down gate. Slayer’s “Kill Again” is the perfect anthem to these predatory humanoid entities, vying to — kill.

    5. “Plainsong” – The Cure

    The dreamy opener off The Cure’s 1989 masterpiece Disintegration is the perfect melancholic alternative to the spooky counterpart theme, written by modern darkwave group S U R V I V E, with its spacey and elongated feel and Robert Smith’s haunting vocals. Coated with abnormality and nothingness, the town of Hawkins in Stranger Things is true to the conflicted mood of The Cure’s song. From the scenes of Will absorbing the Mind Flayer to Eleven discovering her long lost “sister,” Plainsong is the ultimate narration to the characters and storylines of the series.

    6. “The Seven” – Primus

    The second song from Primus’ new album, The Desaturating Seven, “The Seven” tells the story of these cold, evil creatures covered in scales, who will prowl the world until the sky is dark and gray and their wretched thirst is quenched. Deme-dogs are just that. Cold, evil creatures covered in scales, who will prowl the world until the sky is dark and gray and their wretched thirst is quenched. They are operated by the Mind Flayer. Deme-dogs are similar to ants and bees in the sense that they have a hive mind, which is almost like a unified consciousness that the deme-dogs share in order to protect the Mind Flayer, the tunnels, and the gate. Dustin’s deme-dog, D’artagan (Dart for short), shows us how these deme-dogs develop and grow from cute, adorable pollywogs to the demonic demegorgon.

    7. “Nancy From Now On” – Father John Misty

    Father John Misty’s “Nancy From Now On” marks the moment when “Jancy” becomes official after they give Murray the incriminating evidence and sleep over at his house. When Nancy and Steve find out Barb’s parents are selling there house to pay for a private investigator named Murray to find out what happened to their daughter, Nancy starts to feel guilty. Due to non disclosure agreement Nancy signed after the events of season one, Nancy can’t tell anyone (let alone Barb’s parents) what really happened to her. Nancy dumps Steve and goes through a whole series of events with Jonathon Byers. They create a plan where they get proof that Hawkins Lab is responsible for Barb’s death. However, it’s through this plan that we see the beginning of what looks like a relationship grow between Nancy and Jonathan.

    8. “S.O.B.” – Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats

    Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats’ “S.O.B.” is a theme dedicated to all of the rough things Chief Hopper goes through in order to keep Hawkins safe, whether he’s protecting Hawkins from the Upside Down, or keeping Eleanor Gillespie and her birds nest hairdo safe from owls. Chief Hopper has been trying to decipher just what has causing all of the pumpkin patches in Hawkins to go bad, juggling this along with helping Joyce Byers and Will. Somebody, give Hopper a drink.

    9. “Subdivisions” – Rush

    Rush’s 1982 smash hit “Subdivisions” marked a huge change in their sound. They began creating songs that were more synth oriented rather than guitar, which fits the style of S U R V I V E’s synth sound displayed throughout the Stranger Things series. “Subdivision” was the follow up to the massively popular album Moving Pictures, which gave Rush a larger audience. This song is about the walls people build in-between each other, based on social preferences and interests.

    The music video depicts a nerdy high school kid being outcasted by the rest of his class. We follow our nerd, whether he’s watching TV, studying, or playing Tempest at the arcade while the cool kids are going to the mall or out to a bar. Our favorite AV Club is very similar to the protagonist in “Subdivisions” where they presented as outcasts, like on Halloween when they all dress up as The Ghostbusters (featuring two Venkmans and no Winston) and no one else wore a costume. The kids in the hallway walked by them and gave them weird, uncomfortable looks. One kid even said “Who you gonna call? The Nerds!” On another note, the arcade shots in the “Subdivisions” music video is very reminiscent to the scene in episode one of season two where Dustin, Lucas, Mike and Will are playing Dragon’s Lair at the arcade.

    10. “Brothers In Arms” – Dire Straits

    One of the biggest surprises in this season of Stranger Things 2 was the pairing of Steve and Dustin. They knew each other from the events of season one, however they never really worked together until Dustin meets up with Steve in front of Mike’s house. Both characters had feelings of abandonment, Steve by Nancy and Dustin by his friends, but in the end the two banded together and developed a comical and emotional bond. “Brothers In Arms” is one of Dire Straits’ biggest masterpieces. It’s about war but it’s about the brotherhood everyone on Earth shares by just being apart of the same world, even if your background deems you different.

    Examples of this are shown in the season finale. When everyone in the party disliked Dart, Dustin created an emotional bond with Dart, and it proved to be helpful because when the group was cornered by Dart in the tunnels, Dustin gave Dart a Three Musketeer bar and in return, Dart gave them the opportunity to walk by him with their lives. Another example takes place a few moments later when Steve and Dustin, two newly found friends from different worlds are escaping the tunnels. Steve helped MadMax, Lucas, and Mike out of the tunnel but as the deme-dogs were heading right towards them, he squared up to protect Dustin when the stampede. Their bond proved to stand the test of time when Dustin took Steve’s advice on hair styling (Fabergé Organics shampoo and conditioner, and when your hair is damp, not wet, damp, give it four puffs of Farrah Fawcett spray, incase you were wondering) and Steve drove him to the Snow Ball.