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15 Perfect Netflix Soundtracks To Stream Right Now!

Getting stuff done right now is a hard task, one you’d probably rather watch in an onscreen montage of your own life, a minute-and-a-half of soundtracked productivity without the IRL effort.

Turning your own to-do list into an enthusiastic filmic moment is a hard ask in this uneditable reality, but I’ve come up with my own cinematic technique for getting shit done: Netflix soundtracks.

From the John Hughes-channelling dreampop of the To All the Boys… series to the swinging ’60s vibes of The Queen’s Gambit, Netflix soundtracks might bring a little thematic coherence to your day, whether you’re working at home, need to stimulate your brain, want to expand your music knowledge, or just want to dance around a little in between tasks or cries.

For the record, I’ve left musicals, music films, or music documentaries out of this list (that’s way too easy, and would read “just play the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend soundtrack all the time”), but if you’re really looking for these, make a start with the excellent film The Forty-Year-Old Version. And everything on this list is a Netflix series or film, to avoid picks not being available in different countries.

Just for fun, I’ve also included a big music moment for each, just to celebrate the power a strategic song choice has (and to dredge up all that raw emotion again, you’re welcome).

You love the show or movie, now stream the soundtrack.

1. Never Have I Ever

If you’re looking for the dreampop-drenched soundtrack of apparently all onscreen teen dreams, Never Have I Ever (directed by Linda Mendoza and written by Mindy Kaling) provides. While our pal Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) navigates high school drudgery, big-time crushes, and friend fallouts while attempting to bury her grief, the show’s soundtrack sits in wait to elevate the story’s many butterfly-filled adolescent happenings (Cannons’ “Fire for You,” I’m looking at you). Alongside Joseph Stephens’ playful ‘80s-inspired score, and a heap of synth-pop from the likes of Selebrities, Superhumanoids, and Anna of the North, the soundtrack also features three Bollywood songs and a couple of big club bangers — well, mainly this is a shout-out to the moment when Paxton Hall-Yoshida slow-motion strolls into a room to the sound of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own”.

SEE ALSO: The Bollywood dance scene in ‘Never Have I Ever’ is a Hollywood milestone

Big song moment: A wild card in the show’s smorgasbord of electro-pop, the most unforgettable moment in the show comes from U2’s “Beautiful Day.” You’ll know.

Where to stream it: Spotify, Apple Music

2. Dear White People

Amid the rampant systemic racism on-campus at Winchester College sits one of Netflix’s most superb soundtracks. Combined with composer Kris Bowers’ stunning score, the soundtrack for Dear White People is stocked with hundreds of songs across decades and genres — from ’70s R&B to 2010s hip hop, classical to bebop. Across the seasons sit tracks from Childish Gambino, Noname, Michael Kiwanuka, Rapsody, Shamir (who appears in the show too), A Tribe Called Quest, Tkay Maidza, Tyler, the Creator, BROCKHAMPTON, DeJ Loaf, Thelma Houston, Moses Sumney, J Dilla, and so many more, not to mention a copious amounts of Tchaikovsky. As well as scoring moments of college life — love, sex, heartbreak, friendship, loss, episodes of Defamation — the show’s music also fuels the narrative, like the Future song that ignites a pivotal scene in Season 1.

Each episode’s soundtrack has its own style depending on the featured character, thanks to music supervisor and former KCRW radio DJ Morgan Rhodes. Rhodes told Variety the aim was to create a playlist for each student, based on those creator Justin Simeon had made previously. “Because the pervasive belief is that characters and their perspectives are nuanced and varied, just like their experiences,” she said. “And so, in turn, their music should be.” Bowers, the publisher notes, also wrote individual score themes for each character too.

Big song moment: Joelle Brookes’ perfect version of Erykah Badu’s “Tyrone.” Wow.

Where to stream it: Spotify — Season 1, Season 2, Seasons 3 and 4

3. The Queen’s Gambit

If you managed to watch The Queen’s Gambit and not Shazam every song, you must have been concentrating on the next move. A treasure trove of swinging ’60s tunes, the show’s soundtrack complements every turtleneck, checkered coat, and mini-dress in Beth Harmon’s enviable wardrobe. While Carlos Rafael Rivera’s compelling score tackles the big dramatic chess moments, there are so many memorable ’60s needle drops soundtracking Beth’s story: cleaning an entire apartment to “Along Comes Mary” by The Association, drinking PBRs to Shocking Blue’s “Venus,” putting up with the Apple Pis obsessing over The Vogues’ “You’re the One,” or engaging in speed chess set to Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames’ “Yeh, Yeh.” Hot tip? If you’re having a hard time getting stuff done, throw on “Tut Tut Tut Tut” by Gillian Hills.

Big song moment: Beth throwing down an awkward dance-flirt to Peggy Lee’s “Fever.”

Where to stream it: Spotify, Apple Music

4. Malcolm and Marie
One of Netflix’s most polarising films has an undebatable strength: an incredible soundtrack. From the very first notes of James Brown’s “Down and Out in New York City,” (from the 1973 Larry Cohen film Black Caesar) to the final frames over Outkast’s “Liberation,” the film’s soundtrack almost acts as another character in Malcolm and Marie. Zendaya (Marie) told Desus and Mero that a few songs — like William Bell’s “I Forgot to Be Your Lover” — were written into the script by director Sam Levinson. “Some of them Sam wrote in because they play into where the characters are emotionally, whether that be Malcolm trying to apologise, or Marie trying to talk to him,” she said. Others were selected by the film’s editor, Julio Perez IV — like jazz track “Betaminus” by Zoot Sims, Jim Hall, and Jimmy Raney, which scores the making of mac and cheese. But John David Washington (Malcolm) pitched the final Outkast track. “Hearing what Malcolm was going through…and being a frustrated artist and the relationship with the industry, there’s something about Erykah Badu’s verse on that, CeeLo’s verse on that, always resonates. I thought it was apropos for this story to end it like that.”

Big music moment: The timelessly romantic “In a Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, which pops up in a rare Nice Moment. Savour it.

Where to stream it: Spotify, Apple Music

5. Sex Education
For some reason, nothing sets a teen romance comedy more firmly in the present than an ‘80s inspired soundtrack. Combined with Oli Julian’s classic teen movie score, the awkward, devastating, and hilarious adolescent chapters of Sex Education come soundtracked by ’80s hits from The The, Salt-N-Pepa, A Flock of Seagulls, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, a-ha, Billy Idol, The Smiths, Talking Heads, INXS, The Cure, Roxy Music, and plenty more — including Lily’s unsuccessful mood-setter, “Wild Thing” by Tone-Loc. Meanwhile, Ezra Furman adds poignancy to the series with plenty of sweet additions including newbies written for the show (you’ll spy a cameo in Season 1, with one of the best Eric-Otis moments ever). Sure, you’ll want to ride through the Welsh countryside with your best friend talking about masturbating, all set to Furman’s unofficial show anthem “Love You So Bad” — but for now, home listening will have to do.

Big song moment: Aimee Gibbs surrounded by her friends on the bus to Sharon Van Etten’s “Seventeen.” An absolute show-stopper after a powerful storyline.

Where to stream it: Spotify (Furman’s tracks or the whole thing), Amazon Music, Apple Music

6. Someone Great

If you’ve recently gone through a traumatic break-up, it might be best to avoid this soundtrack — unless you have an immovable stallion heart. But if you need, nay, deserve a Big Cry, get amongst this one. As Jenny, Leah, and Blair (Gina Rodriguez, DeWanda Wise, and Brittany Snow) gallivant around NYC throwing smoke, mirrors, and Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” in front of a raw break-up, the Someone Great soundtrack blends escapist party bangers with heart punches (and liberal use of Phoebe Bridgers, Sigrid, Mitski, and Frank Ocean’s signature melancholia). Kicking off with Lorde’s mighty break-up song “Supercut,” the film wields music as bookends of a relationship — from cute, flirty Vampire Weekend “Mansard Roof” beginnings to seeing each other post-break-up while Jessie Reyez performs the hell out of “Great One.”

Big music moment: While I was going to pick the lovely bodega scene involving “singing it out” to Selena’s “Dreaming of You,” I’ll give this one to Phoebe Bridgers’ “Scott Street” quietly rampaging all over the “our spot” moment in Washington Square Park. Those strings. Help.

Where to stream the soundtrack: Spotify, Apple Music

7. On My Block

After everything we’ve been through the squad, the soundtrack for On My Block will remind you of all the high school shenanigans, first loves and crushes, heartbreak and tragedy, hardcore mystery-solving, gang violence, and general awkwardness of adolescence in Freeridge. This consistently Shazam-worthy soundtrack covers considerable ground with genres, ranging from R&B, neo-soul, Latin hip hop, low-key pop, salsa, electronic indie, the lot — with both super famous and emerging artists. Alongside New York producer Kovas’ superb score (and original song), scenes of young love, breakups, and family revelations land with tracks from Amir Obé, Tattoo Money, Raury, Cherry Hill, Billie Eilish, Nao, Brent Faiyaz, and Alina Baraz, fun party scenes are scored by Crooked Stilo and Daye Jack, while RollerWorld/Lil’ Ricky mystery-hunting escapades run with Sampha, Rayana Jay, and Little Simz among others. But nothing stops the show like Ruby and Jasmine performing their incredible Dillon Francis “Look At That Butt” routine, that guilty viral pleasure “Lunch Money,” or Rosé’s ode “Tricky Ricky.” Well, there might be one song…

Big music moment: It’s hard to forget DeJ Loaf’s “Changes” and its connection with a certain quinceañera, not to mention its terrible re-appearance in Season 2.

Where to stream it: Spotify

8. To All the Boys…

If you’re not a romantic, you probably already hate this list with all the big-time mushy vibes around here. But I’m here to melt your cold jaded heart with LJ + PK and the delightfully loved-up soundtracks of the To All the Boys… series. Music supervisors Laura Webb and Lindsay Wolfington handpicked every song of the three films — and there are a lot of them, with 47 songs in Always and Forever alone. Songs reappear in the films for sweet impact — for example, “I Like Me Better” by Lauv plays as the bus leaves on the ski trip and heading to NYC (though remixed), and Anna of the North soundtracks both that spa scene in the first film and the bowling date in the third. The soundtracks meander through ’80s-inspired (or actual ’80s) electronic pop for that unmistakable John Hughes vibe, big fun chart-toppers (cue the Covey sisters singing karaoke to Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,”), fierce K-pop, nostalgic throwbacks, and new romantic indie tunes. And of course, this is a rom-com, so Lara Jean and Peter need “their song,” right? Well…

Big music moment: You knew I was going start sweetly wailing “Beginning Middle End,” by Leah Nobel and Quinn Redmond, first performed on an NYC rooftop by The Greeting Committee (who actually have three songs on the soundtrack), but not made iconic there.

Where to stream it: Spotify (All three films, P.S. I Still Love You, Always and Forever), Apple Music (P.S. I Still Love You, Always and Forever), Amazon Music (P.S. I Still Love You, Always and Forever)

9. Moxie

Starting a movement? You’re gonna want some riot grrrl energy behind you. Amy Poehler’s Moxie is brimming with feminist power anthems from artists across multiple genres, with key zine scenes set to Bikini Kill’s “Double Dare Ya” and TopLady’s “Green Light Red Light.” Vivian’s (Hadley Johnson) shenanigans are inspired by her mum’s (Poehler) activism, and are scored to The Julie Ruin, Tacocat, Yuno, Princess Nokia, and great covers by Brandi Carlile and Lucy Dacus. But the feminist punk anthem above all, Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl,” makes more than one appearance, whether blasting from headphones or performed by Los Angeles band The Linda Lindas. Gotta say it, though: Poehler wears a Sleater Kinney T-shirt and sneaks in a photograph of herself hanging with the band without any of their immortal tunes appearing in this film. I object.

Big music moment: Walking out to Ebony Bones’ “W.A.R.R.I.O.R.” is bold.

Where to stream it: Spotify, Apple Music

10. Bridgerton

Wait, is that Ariana Grande scoring this ball? Taylor Swift scoring this Extra Horny Episode? As the cornucopia of debaucherous Regency-era shenanigans scampered onto Lady Whistledown’s pages, so did Bridgerton’s soundtrack hasten into our awaiting ears. Dear White People composer Kris Bowers continues the magic in Shonda Rhimes’ outstandingly popular romance series, teaming up with the Vitamin String Quartet and Duomo for the show’s signature classical covers — from Billie Eilish’s “bad guy” to Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next, Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You,” to Celeste’s “Strange.” Bowers told Mashable’s Proma Khosla, “A combination of a [distinct musical] palette and [distinct musical] themes really helped create a continuity through-line, even as we were changing aspects of the genre or instrumentation.”

Big music moment: It’s the “Wildest Dreams” scene. You know it’s the “Wildest Dreams” scene.

Where to stream it: Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music

11. She’s Gotta Have It

Spike Lee’s Netflix series inspired by his 1986 film may have been canned after two seasons, but the She’s Gotta Have It soundtrack will live on. Joining happily nonmonogamous protagonist Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise) in her daily experiences juggling sex, dating, friendship, politics, misogyny, and making art in Brooklyn comes with one exceptional soundtrack — this is a Spike Lee joint, after all. Alongside composer Bruce Hornsby’s triumph of a score comes a playlist handpicked by Lee, which weaves through jazz, soul, R&B, reggaeton, and many other genres and decades — not to mention that beautiful opening theme (Hornsby’s expansion of the original film theme composed by Lee’s father Bill) paired with photos from around Fort Greene, where Lee grew up. And if you weren’t sure of how pivotal music was to the series, Lee splices in album covers for the song you just heard as a scene transition device. Handy.

Big music moment: It seems too easy, but the montage of Nola’s powerful street art “My Name Isn’t ____” campaign (inspired by artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh) set to Jill Scott’s 2007 track “Golden” is a magnificent way to start the series.

Where to stream it: Spotify

12. GLOW

If you need a pep-up, channel your own character to join the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, and hit play on the GLOW soundtrack. If there’s an ’80s power hit, it’s on here, being set in the decade of major hair and spandex —think Patty Smyth’s “The Warrior,” Roxette’s “The Look,” Pat Benatar’s “Invincible,” Journey’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart).” You’ll want to make your own series main title sequence to Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right,” using escalators. But there’s also plenty from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s on here too. Pick your poison and get in the ring.

Big song moment: I’ve got a soft spot for Brittanica’s GLOW rap — sorry, “speak-singing.” Knowing the British wrestler Rhonda is played by singer Kate Nash makes it even better.

Where to stream it: Spotify, Apple Music

13. Russian Doll

Sweet birthday babyyyyy, if you’re enjoying the dreamy synth levels of this list of soundtracks, check out the soundtrack to Russian Doll. Natasha Lyonne’s Groundhog Day-like mystery adventure is staged alongside French pop from Jacqueline Taïeb, synth-pop from Light Asylum, and ’60s psychedelia from Mae West, among plenty of other haunting songs. But of course, the signature song from the series is Harry Nilsson’s “Gotta Get Up,” played over and over again to signal each reset. Lyonne herself referred to the song as having a “buoyant doomsday quality” in a New York Times interview, and eventually picked it over a few other options to “touch something that was out of time, and a New York and East Village that was out of time.”

Big music moment: No spoilers (because of the nature of this show), but the very final moments of the show are perfectly served with Love’s 1967 track “Alone Again Or.”

Where to stream it: Spotify

14. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

While Riverdale’s doing its thing over there with “Mad World” moments, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina brings some witchy business to the town of Greendale. While Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) figures out how to be a teenage witch dealing with succubitches and regular high school student, the show’s soundtrack always makes a spooky connection, often with ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s rock and roll, from Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising,” to “Strange Magic” by Electric Light Orchestra and Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man.” Plus, there are some killer covers, like “I Put A Spell On You” by Sylvia Gordon.

“Like the show itself, the songs of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are current, vintage, cutting edge and familiar (with a twist), and these elements create the musical character for the show,” said music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas (who also works on Riverdale and gave us the immortal soundtrack of The O.C.) in a press statement. These songs all bubble alongside composer Adam Taylor’s haunted score which seems to deploy a ghostly theremin or sinister strings at every turn.

Big music moment: An early moment in Season 1, but Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kicker’s “Monster Mash” at Roz’s Halloween party is such a vibe.

Where to stream it: Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music

15. Stranger Things
You’re picking up on a theme aren’t you? Well, clearly if you’re running a Netflix show involving teen romance and you don’t have an ’80s soundtrack, are you even a show? The Duffer Brothers’ Stranger Things at least gets to claim that it’s set in the 1980s, and you can hear it all through the soundtrack. The Cars, The Police, Duran Duran, Toto, The Psychedelic Furs, Cyndi Lauper, Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, New Order — the Stranger Things soundtrack is a smorgasbord of ‘80s delights that find a new sinister tinge when side-by-side with the series’ big-synth-energy original theme and score by SURVIVE’s Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein. Thanks to music supervisor Nora Felder, songs have significant power within the narrative; The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” plays a pretty damn important role for the Byers family in Season 1. But others are gloriously non-diegetic, like The Cars’ “Moving in Stereo” in that pool scene.

Big music moment: 🎶Tuuuuuuuurn arooooound. Look at what you seeeeeeee-eeeee-eeee..🎶

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