This past summer, HBO released its new hit series, Euphoria, starring Zendaya as a drug-addicted teenager navigating high school life among her peers, who are also struggling with their own issues. The show has been praised for the impressive performances from the ensemble and its stunning cinematography, but one of the highlights is undoubtedly the score, which was released on Oct. 4. Composed by British singer-songwriter Labrinth, the score dazzles in every way, truly capturing the essence and haze of Euphoria.
The scores consists of 26 songs and caps out at an hour and three minutes. While this may seem long, each song captures the varying moods of the show. Some songs are lighthearted and upbeat, while others are more raw and intense. They all come together to form an album that is an exhilarating rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish.
It opens with “New Girl,” a stripped-down song that mainly utilizes the acoustic guitar. It stands out due to the absence of the electronic sounds in many of the other songs; Still, it is a nice opening to the album, gently easing the listener into the whirlwind of songs.
Keeping in theme with the lighter songs, “Forever” relies primarily on the ethereal vocals of Labrinth, which are backed by soft techno beats.
One of the lengthier tracks on the album is “Euphoria Funfair,” which clocks out at ten minutes and eight seconds. This song is more intricately tied to episode four of the show, and it’s very different from the rest of the album since it is a more classical piece. It is still entertaining to listen to, but it does suffer from its longer play time.
One of the aspects that makes this score so unique is how Labrinth expertly combines classic instruments with more modern sounds. This is especially prevalent on “Gangster,” which is another favorite of mine and a piece I suggest anyone listen to for a confidence boost. In the scene where the song is featured, the characters are at a Halloween party. The song combines the heavy synth beats that frequently appear in the album with the haunting sound of an organ. While this is certainly an odd pairing, it creates a spooky vibe that fits the episode perfectly, and results in a hard-hitting and unforgettable song.
“When I R.I.P.” is another song that takes two opposing sounds and makes it work as one. The chorus takes electronic beats and string instruments and puts it over Labrinth’s rapping, making for a combination that almost shouldn’t work as well as it does.
Euphoria is a show that focuses on the trials and tribulations of Generation Z. The show covers a variety of topics, ranging from sexuality to substance abuse, but it all centers back on those feelings of teenage angst we all have at one point or another in our lives. There’s no better song that captures these feelings Euphoria focuses on like “Still Don’t Know My Name.” Undoubtedly one of my favorite tracks of the album, this song is one that I feel really captures the feelings Euphoria wants to convey. Labrinth singing of his desire for his love relates back to how Zendaya’s character, Rue, feels that same desire for her new friend, Jules (Played by Hunter Schafer). This song really showcases Labrinth’s impressive vocals.
Overall, this album delivers and encapsulates the variety of emotions Euphoria takes its viewers through. If you’re a fan of the show, then you will definitely love this album, as it takes you back into the show and lets you relive so many of the important moments. This show succeeds in part because of the gorgeous sound Labrinth creates to fit the world these characters are living in. His talent is on full display with this album, and given that Euphoria has been renewed for a second season, we should be seeing more of his work in the future.
I can’t wait to see where he takes us next.