the Heart stroke The Netflix series is a work of art that operates like a finely tuned machine of sweet romance and teen drama. Each part flows together so well, from the cinematography to the actors, from the writing to the scenography. While it’s hard to single out one aspect as more important, the soundtrack has a major effect on the viewing experience.
the Heart stroke The series packs emotional punches that couldn’t have been showcased more nicely by the incredibly well-chosen and mixed soundtrack. From idle obsession to dreamlike reminiscence, the soundtrack covers nearly every possible moment and emotion of the young romance that blossoms over 8 episodes.
Don’t Suppress Kisses – Wolf Alice
Wolf Alice are a London-based band that caught the eye after winning the 2016 Grammy Awards for their performance of “Moaning Lisa Smile.” The band tends toward a dreamy, psychedelic style known as “shoegaze,” though they’ve built a following based on their excellent alt-rock tunes.
“Don’t Delete the Kisses” is a track that plays at the end of Episode 1 that leans heavily on the dreamlike and ethereal tendencies of the band’s work. A love song, this track holds nothing back in terms of emotionality – anxiety, love, depression, – a bit of everything one can feel when falling in love. A perfect introduction to the series.
Telephone – Water parks
Waterparks are an American rock band, one of the few non-British representatives of the soundtrack. The band formed in 2011 and have consistently produced highly rated music among the alternative rock crowd. Their music leans towards pop styles, but the alternative trend is well represented in their song “Telephone”.
“Telephone” plays as Charlie enters the party and sets the rebellious, over-the-top vibe of a teenage party that lacks supervision. The lyrics themselves tie in closely to the themes of love and pursuit that viewers see Charlie and Nick running through, as well as Tara and Darcy, with the two couples finding each other in different ways at the party.
Why am I like this? -Orla Gartland
In an early romantic moment from the comic-turned-series, Nick finds himself looking back on his last months of friendship with Charlie and slowly realizing that his feelings are more than friendly. The scene culminates in Nick starting to take a closer look at himself and wondering if he’s straight.
The main chorus of the song “Why am I like this?” talks about the conscious nature of an early crush as Charlie messages Nick throughout the episode – as well as Nick’s growing confusion and discomfort with what he had believed was his identity . This song ends the second episode in a difficult moment that carries over into the next episode.
Want me – baby queen
Baby Queen is one of the most featured artists on the earphone soundtrack, with 3 of his songs appearing over the course of the 8 episode series. Baby Queen is originally a South African artist who moved to London to pursue her music career. Since 2020, she has appeared alongside artists such as Yungblud and Olivia Rodrigo on their tours.
“Want Me” is one of the most impactful, appearing early and setting the tone for the series with just a short 4-minute song. The exuberant tune encapsulates the youthful feelings of a crush and the insecurities that can arise around it. Baby Queen’s music manages to illustrate and inspire the heart of the show.
My own person – Smoothboi Ezra
Smoothboi Ezra is the youngest musical artist to feature on the Heart stroke soundtrack at only 17 years old. They have a surprisingly extensive discography for such a young artist – their most played track on Spotify is “A Sh*tty Gay Love Song About You” which has over 10 million plays. But their song for Hearstopper could go further.
“My Own Person” is one of the songs on the soundtrack that best encapsulates the feeling of being a teenager and struggling to find yourself. This is perhaps the saddest song, but also the most touching. This plays alongside the opening scene of Episode 3 – which comes straight from the Heart stroke graphic novels – in which Nick finds himself trying to figure out his sexuality – and who he is.
Dover Beach – Baby Queen
In episode 2, Charlie joins the rugby team at Nick’s request. What follows is a valuable practice montage that doubles as a deeper dive into how Charlie and Nick work together towards a goal. An underrated moment in their Heart stroke storyline, it establishes that the two boys can work together.
Ironically, the song playing on the montage is itself a matter of infatuation. The song’s lyrics focus on the feeling at the start of a crush when the crushed person’s face appears wherever the crusher looks – “Everywhere I look, I just see you” – this song is another fine example of the way Baby Queen captures affection in music.
Sappho – Frankie Cosmos
Frankie Cosmos is both Greta Kline’s original stage name, as well as the name of her current band. She is no stranger to the Netflix series, as her music featured prominently in the anime series. hilda. The song “Sappho” is a touching piece of music that plays Nick and Charlie’s text after the latter defends the former.
The song takes its title from the legendary lesbian poet of ancient Greece and describes a woman who slowly grows closer and closer to someone she cares about. The interest is sincere and sweet but gives twinges of anxiety – something that perfectly captures the scene as Charlie and Nick quickly type and delete messages again and again.
Lightest blue – CHVRCHES
CHVRCHES are one of the most established and well-known names in soundtrack, their synth-pop music growing and refining since their debut in the early 2010s. It’s been a long journey for them, but the band Scottish has established a solid discography which takes them through frequent European tours.
The song “Clearest Blue” plays during the party where Tara and Darcy kiss in public for the first time, completely unabashed in their moment of love for each other. The song’s celebratory mood and uplifting tone join together to form an incredibly powerful moment that has quickly become iconic.
Our window – Noah and the whale
Easily the saddest song on the soundtrack, Noah and the Whale provides Episode 8’s opening scene with an incredibly contemplative piece. The band are a London-based band that produce alternative rock and folk music – the styles of both can be felt throughout this slow ballad that’s something between a pre- and post-breakup song.
The song plays on Charlie and Nick texting (not texting) about their emotional state after Tao gets into a fight with Charlie. Nick reaches out and wants to know what’s going on, while Charlie feels responsible for Nick struggling and losing friends – the song is sad and distressing, but also provides dramatic tension with its breaking vibes.
I Belong In Your Arms (Photek Remix) – Chairlift
The last song in the series is also one of the best. Chairlift are an American synth-pop band that broke up in 2017, but their music remains some of the best in the genre. But in addition to the work of this group is Photek, a British DJ and producer, who has created music for film and television, including tron the legacy and How to escape murder.
Photek’s remix emphasizes the dreamy nature of the song, which is played over a scene of Nick reminiscing about how he fell in love with Charlie. This scene punctuates the entire series with its sickly sweet moment of wrapping oneself in the thoughts and memories of first love. It’s almost impossible to be cynical or jaded about the combination of music and spectacle.
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