Analyzing the ‘Stranger Things’ original soundtrack
The original series Stranger Things is unarguably one of the most popular productions from Netflix since the launch of the company’s online streaming service in 2007. One of the most striking things about the series, apart from the unique story-line and lovable characters, is the stunning soundtrack. With season three just arriving to Netflix we thought we would analyse the soundtrack and see what makes it stand out so much.
Composed by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein of the electronic band S U R V I V E, their original compositions make use of synthesizers that are heavily inspired by 1980s artists/film composers such as Jean Michel-Jarre, Tangerine Dream and Vangelis to name a few.
The most popular piece of music that has come out of the show is the theme tune, named ‘Stranger Things’. Based on unused Michael Stein work, the duo began work on reworking it to fit the Stranger Things soundtrack more suitably and created 30-second, 45-second and 1-minute versions before the 1-minute version was ultimately chosen. Featuring analogue bass synthesizers and built around a C major arpeggio, the theme actually won an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music in 2017. This amazing piece of music has inspired many remixes, most recently with Australian producer What So Not releasing his take on the theme, which was dropped in line with the third season.
The theme isn’t the only good part of the soundtrack though, with two whole volumes (and a third one coming soon) of original music to explore with digital and vinyl releases. The whole score is synth-heavy, managing to perfectly encapsulate a number of moods whether it be childlike adolescence (upbeat, light) or dangerous imposing threats (dark, unnerving) which all have sprinkles of nostalgia to transport viewers back into the retro 80s.
Watch a video below of Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein break down their music and look forward to the third installation of the enticing volume of music, out on digital, CD and cassette on July 5 and 12″ vinyl on July 26.