A guide to the music of ‘Euphoria’ season 2

When the first season of “Euphoria” aired on HBO in 2019 with Zendaya, the world discovered its genre-bending soundtrack from British singer-songwriter Labrinth. The soft synth background mixes gospel, soul and electronic sounds to create a wide range of musical moods, accompanying the show’s emotional highs and lows.

But this season, in addition to iconic Labrinth themes like TikTok favorite “Still Don’t Know My Name,” each episode also features classics — often a deep or forgotten gem from an 80s or 90s album — interspersed of hit pop songs or hip hop anthems.

Zendaya in “Euphoria” on HBO.HBO Max

These songs often accompany ethereal camerawork and lighting to set the tone for intense and emotional moments for the characters, an artistic hallmark of the show known for its raw, and sometimes triggering, depiction of high school life. The tracks often quickly go viral on social media as people share fan theories, recaps or memes about the events of this week’s episode as one of the songs plays in the background. .

So to make sure you’re all up to date with these trending songs, we’re compiling a list that will be continually updated with the earworms you hear throughout the season.

Here’s a guide to the “Euphoria” season 2 soundtrack:

Episode 4, “You Who Can’t See, Think of Those Who Can”

“Drinking Before the War” by Sinéad O’Connor

Oh, who could forget that scene, which shows Cassie dancing alone in her living room while straight downing a bottle of wine, and Cal slowly dancing with a stranger at the bar where he had his first kiss with his best friend.

This song is from O’Connor’s 1987 debut album ‘The Lion and the Cobra’. The Irish singer is best known for her rendition of Prince’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ and her infamous Saturday Night Live performance, when she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II.

The song begins with O’Connor’s creepy vocals but quickly escalates into a heartbreaking scream as she pleads lyrics like “You’re digging your own grave yeah, but it’s a life you can save.” The music captures the visceral pain of the two drunken characters: the intensity of Cassie’s need for male validation and Cal’s long-lost love and suppressed sexual identity.

“I was dancing in the lesbian bar” by Jonathan Richman

This song, taken from 1992’s “I, Jonathan” album, is an upbeat rock track with swinging guitar and narrative lyrics about, quite literally, dancing in a lesbian bar. The song serves as the backdrop to a scene where at one point, Rue dances with Elliott, then, Elliot kisses Jules, Rue’s girlfriend.

‘How Long’ by Tove Lo

Tove Lo, best known for her 2014 hit “Habits (Stay High),” has released a new track for “Euphoria” Season 2 with lyrics that match certain plot points perfectly. The song follows a tumultuous relationship as the singer asks, “how long have you loved another while I dream of us together?” Sound familiar?

This track plays in the background of Maddy’s birthday party, an occasion where the Maddy-Cassie-Nate love triangle somehow gets complicated.

In a Cal driving scene, INXS plays. Eddy Chen/HBO

Episode 3, ‘Ruminations: Big Bullies and Little Bullies’

Never Tear Us Apart by INXS

The INXS group, pronounced “in excess”, is presented frequently on the show in relation to Cal.

The Australian rock band formed in 1977. And although “Need You Tonight” was their only single to reach number one in the US, 80s “Never Tear Us Apart” served as the backdrop. to one of the most beautiful and moving scenes of the show yet.

The episode opened with Cal’s story, where we find out he was in love with his best friend, Derek, growing up. After graduating, the two go to a bar, just them, and dance to this song. While it starts out playful and teasing, they eventually grow closer before sharing their first kiss as Cal cries. Shortly after, Cal discovers that his girlfriend is pregnant.

“Call Me Irresponsible” by Bobby Darin

Originally written in 1962, Bobby Darin covered the jazz song in 1964 for his album “From Hello Dolly to Goodbye Charlie”. In this scene, a high street is dancing with her pillow. She sings as she moves around her room and waltzes in her kitchen – before being surprised by Gia.

“Watercolor Eyes” by Lana Del Rey

Released for the show’s second season, “Watercolor Eyes” plays over the credits of Episode 3. The slow, sad song matches the independent sound characteristic of the “Euphoria” aesthetic. The lyrics describe a loving but painful relationship. Connection.

Cassie tries to get the attention of Nate, Maddy’s ex-boyfriend, while Maddy looks at herself in the mirror beside her. Eddy Chen/HBO

Episode 2, “Out of Touch”

“Rain or Shine” by Judy Garland

“Come Rain or Come Shine” was originally written for the Broadway musical St. Louis Woman and covered in a jazz swing rendition by Judy Garland, who played Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” for her album 1956 self-titled “Judy.”

The song plays as Maddy lives out a fantasy of being a wealthy housewife, trying on the outfits and accessories of the mother whose children she babysits, played by Minka Kelly.

“Haunted” by Laura Les

“Haunted” is a 2020 hyperpop song with creepy electronic instruments, a screaming chorus, and auto-tuned vocals. The song plays as Lexi, in an effort to snap out of her passivity, puts on her headphones to go see Fez, a potential match the fans are looking for.

‘She Brings the Rain’ by Can

Can are a German experimental rock band from the 70s. “She Brings the Rain” is a slow, jazzy track with psychedelic themes. The song plays over a montage of Rue riding a bike and seeing Cassie get into Nate’s truck. The secret couple then ignore Maddy’s calls.

Rue and Jules continue their tumultuous relationship in Season 2. Eddy Chen/HBO

Episode 1, “Trying to Get to Heaven Before They Close the Door”

“Don’t Be Cruel” by Billy Swan

“Euphoria” season 2 kicks off with a bang. Literally. The opening scene shows a blonde woman, later revealed to be Fez’s grandmother, entering a crowded strip club before shooting a man, Fez’s father.

The song was originally recorded by Elvis Presley and covered by Swan in the 70s for a slow, twangy country rendition.

‘Right Down The Line’ by Gerry Rafferty

The song heard in the Euphoria-TikTok world. Released in 1978 as the single from Rafferty’s “City to City” album, the song’s mellow folk rock sound contrasts sharply with the jarring and violent scene it accompanies: Rue, Fez and newcomer Faye being forced to get naked by a drug dealer, who dances to the song while making sure none of them are wearing yarn.

“Dirty Work” by Steely Dan

From Steely Dan’s 1972 debut album, “Can’t Buy a Thrill,” this song’s most famous pop culture moment came from another HBO show: Season 3’s “The Sopranos.”

Tony Soprano sings this song in the car while the FBI hears it. In “Euphoria”, the song follows the tense scene of the strip search. The upbeat lyrics of “I’m a fool to do your dirty work” play as a drug deal ensues.

“Dead of Night” by Orville Peck

Peck is a country singer who has never shown his face publicly, instead wearing a fringe mask in videos. The 2019 country song and album’s lead single “Pony” features Peck’s low, silky, singsong vocals set against slow guitar. The sultry song tells the story of two lovers crossing Nevada in the middle of the night.

It serves as the soundtrack to Nate driving Cassie to the New Year’s party, with the tension between the two resulting in their problematic encounter in the bathroom. The scene, where Cassie leans out the window as Nate watches her, has been the subject of numerous TikTok reenactments.

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