HBO hit series, Euphoria hands us glitter, grit, and intrigue at every turn, and a big part of that is rooted in the soundtrack. Although some of the unforgettable tracks from the series are scored by Labrinth specifically for the series, they’re balanced perfectly between moody bangers and vintage bops that create an intentional mood for this creative series.
Especially as this season prioritised a few moments of taking us into the past for some vintage exposition, some of the surprising tracks fit into the show’s soundscape with beautiful symmetry. Even with the first season’s occasional classic hit, season two seems to be expanding across the decades while still keeping that enchanting original score for the moments that need a boost of intensity from Labrinth.
It seems that this season truly runs the gamut, with songs from INXS, Tupac, Orville Peck, Tove Lo, Depeche Mode and more. There’s something for everyone in this soundtrack.
Some songs deserve some special attention, however. For example, Orville Peck’s ‘Dead of Night’. It is perhaps the perfect queer country song for late-night drives and nostalgic sadness. This is one of the first stand-out songs of the season. Those who haven’t heard Orville Peck before might be in for a unique surprise.
For those who know Peck well, this is a big win for one of his most recognisable tunes. Even if you aren’t a country fan, this song stands in a world apart from the genre (like much of his music).
‘Oops (Oh My)’ adds a bit of early-2000s hip-hop flair with smooth vocals from Missy Elliott, but it definitely has a uniqueness that helps it fit right in with the ‘Euphoria’ soundtrack. The minor key, choir backing, and intense percussion are almost reminiscent of Labrinth’s compositions for the series, so it makes sense that this track would make its way into the show.
The slow, moody depth of Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Drink Before the War’ calls for the 1980s throwbacks that this season delivers on, but beyond that, the crooning vocals are sure to have anyone captivated. This song takes a central point in the show, setting the stage for two of the major characters’ breaking points in Sam Levinson’s signature low-lighting. It’s enough to nudge this track to the forefront of angsty teen attention.
Where would this California show be without a little bit of classic Tupac? You might remember Rue flawlessly rapping this song in the back of the car as Fez and Ashtray contemplate the series of violent ordeals that had just undertaken.
Even though this is one of the rapper’s most famous songs, a large sub-section of the Euphoria audience might not be entirely well-versed on the greats, so including this song in the show was a bold and welcomed move.
Another such classic, dug up from the annals of history, was ‘Mystify’ from Michael Hutchence’s INXS. This jazzy, new-wave bop brings some of that aforementioned vintage flair. And it isn’t even the only INXS track included in the show. Joined by the likes of ‘Never Tear Us Apart’, it’s clear that someone in the music department might have a favourite 1980s band.
If you’re one of the people hoping for a Fezco and Lexi love story, this song might take on a whole new meaning. Not only is it a lovely classic, but it also has an important significance in the show.
There’s something sweet and beautiful about watching these two characters bond over an old movie and hold hands, singing this song to each other on a rainy day. Amid the rest of the show’s vibrant, violent and vulnerable storylines, moments like these act as a sweet reprieve.
Just like the ending of season one, the second season wraps up in a beautiful collaboration between Labrinth and Zendaya. This soulful, ethereal, dare I say euphoric song captures so much of the mood of this show, and this season in particular, in a way that makes you want to put it on repeat.
If you’re looking to give your personal playlist a boost and feel like the hottest, most confident, bad bitch version of yourself so you can be that for the rest of the school year—or something like that—check out some of these bops straight from the East Highland crew.