Stranger Things, back to the 80's

The Netflix series has a soundtrack that's obsessed with the 80s too...

By Abigail Church | Video of the Day | January 10, 2018

Just like its first season released in 2016 on Netflix, Stranger Things 2 draws heavily on horror and science-fiction movies from the 80s, especially those by Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter. This unapologetic homage naturally reflects on the show’s soundtrack, which, like the previous season, is created by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, two members of the band S U R V I V E from Austin.

Between the two seasons of the show, the band took advantage of the opportunity to release a second album in September 2016 (RR7349) and to perform on stage. The two men already indirectly tried their hand in producing music for movies in 2014 since two of their tracks showed up in the psychological thriller The Guest. It’s incidentally thanks to this movie that the directors of Stranger Things (the Duffer Brothers) discovered the existence of S U R V I V E. According to the composers themselves, the soundtrack of this second opus is characterized by experimental, “demonic and supernatural” sounds. Among the tracks that most fit this description, we find Descent Into The Rift, Soldiers and It’s A Trap, in which the dissonances embrace synthetic timbers that are particularly hair-raising. The composers’ formula to create fear is this: they invent sounds close to familiar sounds, ones that sound remotely like voices or animal calls for example.

Being two modest artists, Dixon and Stein often don't mention when they’re interviewed that their music can display onirism, and even tenderness, like in the tracks On The Bus and Eggo In The Snow. As for the musical tools used by the tandem, they travel through the ages as we find both acoustic instruments, like the waterphone, and electronic—and thus more contemporary—sounds. It’s also worth noting that in addition to the show’s score, the album includes fifteen “beyond the soundtrack” bonus tracks, composed in the same spirit.

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