Musical highlights from the first 4 seasons of Stranger Things, Netflix’s supernatural horror phenomenon, starring a stellar ensemble including Wynona Ryder, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard. The 5th and final Season is expected to be screened on Netflix in 2024. This excellent and bold reworking of the score shows London Music Works at their best, successfully navigating through a maze of analog production challenges.
Created by twins Matt and Ross Duffer, Stranger Things is an American science fiction horror drama television series that follows the community of a small ‘80s Indiana town as they investigate the supernatural disappearance of a local boy, whilst plagued by a hostile alternate dimension known as the “Upside Down”. The series has been often seen as an homage to ‘80s classics like E.T. and Poltergeist.
Composed by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein of the electronic band S U R V I V E, the soundtrack predominantly relies on legacy synthesizers, used by 1980s artists and film composers such as Jean Michel-Jarre, Tangerine Dream and Vangelis. Dixon and Stein were asked by the Duffer Brothers to score Stranger Things, after the Duffers initially used the S U R V I V E song ‘Dirge’ to soundtrack their pitch trailer. According to The Guardian “The Austin analogue aficionados were electronic music cult-concerns, making unfashionable retro synthscapes with their band Survive, before the series’ creators, the Duffer brothers, came calling.” By their own admission, Dixon and Stein grew up listening to Aphex Twin, Autechra and Bogdan Raczynski. They also cite influences of scores for Ex Machina and Annihilation, both composed by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow of Portishead, John Carpenter’s soundtrack for Big Trouble in Little China and Tangerine Dream’s score for The Keep.
Pitchfork states that “From the moment the glowing title card of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” drifts across the screen, the undulating synth arpeggios make it clear that music will play a key role.” AllMusic refers to the duo’s music as an “unabashed love letter to the work of John Carpenter, Jean-Michel Jarre, and Tangerine Dream… their homages are always in service of Stranger Things’ story and mood. Frequently, they reach the iconic heights of their influences: The show’s Emmy-winning theme, with its thudding percussion, arpeggiated synth chords, bright bursts of synthesized bass, and sinister choral effects, encapsulates the feel of ’80s sci-fi and horror perfectly.”
The score has been nominated for Best Score Soundtrack for Grammy Awards. The Stranger Things Theme won an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music in 2017, and has since inspired many remixes and mash-ups, including Wiz Khalifa’s ‘Stranger Things’ Feat. J.R. Donato, asabakaev vs. Childish Gambino’s ‘Stranger Things Theme Song / Bonfire’ Mash-Up, 2 Below’s ‘Stranger Things Theme’ remix, Kaskobi’s ‘Stranger Things vs. Ariana Grande’ mash-up.
London Music Works has released and participated in recordings on over 100 albums and have in excess of 900,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.
1. Stranger Things Theme
3. This Isn’t You
6. The First Lie
9. Boys and Girls
10. The First I Love You
11. The Silver Cat Feeds
13. What’s The Internet
14. You’re The Heart
16. Letter to Willy
17. You Have Already Lost
18. Season 4 End Scene