Catching an episode of Netflix’s Heartstopper is akin to pure euphoria. All through the series’s first season, we get acquainted with the intimations of queer teenage love; poignantly excavated through the on-screen relationship of Nick and Charlie of course, played by Kit Connor and Joe Locke. And whilst at times turbulent and ridden with miscommunication, what Heartstopper is best known for is its emotional nuance: to steer as far away as possible from the old, archaic tropes of budding queer romances. Instead, it is joyously celebrated for all that it is—in part due to its source material, the Heartstopper webtoon, which the Netflix drama did pay special homage to through its playful peek-a-boo inclusions of drawings from the original digital comic.
Yet the lilting, candy-inflected sweetness of this effervescent high school drama can be attributed to another adjacent realm of its entire production: its immaculately curated soundtrack. At every narrative turn of the first eight-part season, a refreshing sound is instrumental to bringing its accompanying scene to life—right in line with the intended mood of its affecting deliverance. Now onto its second run where its main characters return to Truham Grammar School, additional points were definitely scored for the exact same reason; each episode dancing in perfect cadence with the four or five tracks specially curated for it.
It only stands to reason then, that the voices behind some of the show’s most stirring tracks have become a subject of interest, evidenced from Season 1 alone. First came the indie punch of Baby Queen on ‘Dover Beach’, followed by the soft folk vocals of Orla Gartland on ‘Why Am I Like This?’. Then came the pop punk entry of Chloe Moriondo’s ‘I Want To Be With You’.
Notably, the musical magic doesn’t end there with Season 2. Again came the revival of the series’s eclectic landscape of musicians—be it indie rock, acoustic folk or bedroom pop. And whilst surprise mentions were delivered via inclusions from The 1975 and Taylor Swift’s extensive repertoire, any true melomaniac will recognise that the real glitter lies in the poetic efforts of a breadth of other underrated artists. So here we are, with our picks of the must-listens; all the indie artists you should get acquainted with if you enjoyed the soundtrack played on Heartstopper Season 2.
1 / 5
Right from the get-go, we’re thrown into the swinging yet gritty sound of ‘Shatter’—to which Maggie Rogers has the honour of claiming said opening sound for chapter two of the series. After having first shot to fame after her song ‘Alaska’ had been played to Pharrell Williams in a songwriting masterclass, it’s clear that the American singer-songwriter has a way with words, as her melodic tracks take on another shape when closer attention is paid to her emotionally hard-hitting lyrics.
2 / 5
A returning standout from the first season, Wolf Alice transforms its rock sound into a vast landscape for its hypnotic guitar riffs to make way for the haunting, breathy vocals of its lead singer Ellie Rowsell. Whilst the first episode’s play of ‘The Beach’ is reminiscent of the catchy delivery of ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ from Season 1, ‘Blush’ is much unlike the two: imbuing the band with a slower, pensive mood.
3 / 5
Bedroom pop is the defining genre of the TikTok generation and mxmtoon joins a number of other artists who’ve simply aced the joyous sound that comes from a fairly reliable combination of self-made instrumentals and a confessional approach to songwriting. Easy on the ears, sprightly in its mood and written like a bubblegum dream, her songs deliver the twinkling mood of Heartstopper to no end with ‘coming of age’ and ‘mona lisa’ from her 2022 rising album.
4 / 5
Some of the best parts about the Heartstopper soundtrack lies in how it chooses to spotlight artists who would be able to see themselves in the on-screen characters of the show. In that regard, South African singer Baby Queen—whose real moniker is Arabella Latham—finds herself a returning staple to the overall line-up with three new additions on the list for Season 2. With an ever-expanding range of music that can be described as carefree and eclectic, her colourful, synth-led sound makes for some of the most feel-good tracks on the show’s soundtrack.
5 / 5
It’s a dreamy, euphoric world that Nick and Charlie live in, and perhaps Cavetown’s imaginative universe encapsulates the magic of it best. Offbeat, floaty and delivered in a daze of acoustics and heartfelt lyrics, his music is synonymous with the DIY, bubbly sound of bedroom pop that fills us with the soft, warm and fuzzy feeling we all love to glean from a show like Heartstopper. In that sense, ‘Fall In Love with A Girl (ft. Orla Gartland)’ sings of that very emotion.