There are numerous aspects of the Netflix series Stranger Things that immerse the audience into the Eighties. The culturally significant moments (Reagan-Bush ’84 campaign signs, Ghostbusters Halloween costumes) and colorblind fashion are often done so seamlessly that they are barely noticed. One of the true standout aspects of the throwback series is the incredible soundtrack. In addition to handpicking music from top bands of the period like The Police and Whitesnake, the original ambient soundtrack is both appropriate for the time period and the science fiction genre.
As the show unfolds the music frequently brings out a wide variety of emotions. It feels cool, creepy, and exciting and it helps lock you into the upside down universe of Hawkins, Indiana. The tone of the music is first noticed during the title sequence, when the steady beat and escalating synth create an instant connection to the Netflix series.
The podcast Song Exploder recently took apart the amazing music for Stranger Things with Kyle Dixon and Michel Stein. Both men are members of the band S U R V I V E and are responsible for both the music in the title sequence and the background tracks that are weaved throughout the show. The interview includes a breakdown of how the title song was constructed and some interesting comments from both musicians regarding their Stranger Things viewing habits.
The podcast is created and hosted by Hrishikesh Hirway. Each episode contains a deconstruction of a popular track by the artist or artists who created it. Most episodes are between 15 and 20 minutes in length and provide an interesting takeaway about a song. The Stranger Things episode of Song Exploder can be listened to here: http://songexploder.net/stranger-things