Warning: Spoilers are ahead for 13 Reasons Why season 4.
Music has played an important role in 13 Reasons Why since the very beginning. Early on, it taught us to pay attention to the songs chosen to accompany Liberty High's darkest moments: Clay (Dylan Minnette) and Hannah (Katherine Langford) dance to "The Night We Met" by Lord Huron in season 1, and the song came back during a significant moment in season 2. Netflix's 13 Reasons Why's final takes that pattern, switches up the tone, and plays around with different music genres. The songs in 13 Reasons Why season 4's soundtrack set a markedly different tone than soundtracks of seasons past.
Part of that is because there are a few more dances in season 4, and more opportunities for lighthearted music at parties. And towards the end of the season, students at Liberty High use music to set a trap. Turns out Gordon Lightfoot, of all people, is important in season 4. In addition to the pop songs in the soundtrack, you may also recognize familiar themes in the 13 Reasons Why score by Eskmo. These themes have been used in previous seasons, and return in the final outing.
Using a blend of older and newer artists, the season 4 soundtrack reflects the eclectic tastes of the characters and the issues they're dealing with as they near the end of their high school careers.
This post will be updated throughout the day on June 5.
Episode 1: Lean "Heatwave"
This song plays during Justin’s (Brandon Flynn) welcome home party. At the end of last season, he asked to go to rehab, and his friends deck out the house he and Clay share (along with Charlie's "spicy" cookies) to welcome him back for senior year.
Episode 1: Fenne Lily "For A While"
Later in the episode, Justin breaks up with Jessica (Alisha Boe). Nothing's wrong, he just needs a break to focus on recovery. But it's a sad moment, hence the sad song.
Episode 1: MISSIO "Bottom Of The Deep Blue Sea"
This song plays when Alex (Miles Heizer) kisses, and is promptly rejected by, Zach (Ross Butler) at the docks towards the end of the season 4 premiere.
Episode 1 Credits: St. Vincent "Fear The Future"
This song plays over the end credits, right after Clay realizes that someone is messing with him. "Fear The Future" seems pretty fitting for a protagonist who says there is no future.
Fans might also recognize that St. Vincent's music has been a part of the 13 Reasons Why universe before:"The Stranger" was used in the first season as well.
Episode 2: Lost Under Heaven "The Breath of Light"
When Alex and Winston (Deaken Bluman)
start to grow closer during their talk on the college tour, the moment is given even more weight with the help of this tune.
Episode 2 Credits: Summer Cannibals "Behave"
The second episode ends with Clay writing a college essay in which he confesses to covering up Bryce's murder, and this song plays over the credits.
Episode 3: Poolside & Panama "Can’t Stop Your Lovin’"
This is one of the songs at the "Love is Love" dance that Tony (Christian Navarro) and Tyler (Devin Druid) DJ together.
Episode 3: FISHER "Losing It"
This is another song playing at the dance, before Tyler gets called away and Tony becomes suspicious of his friend.
Episode 3: Juice WRLD "Maze"
This song adds to the jarring moment when Clay returns to the dance, covered in (fake) blood and holding a knife. The football team pranked him, but his classmates don't know that,
Episode 5: "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John
Possibly inspired by Rocketman
(or Almost Famous
), Clay and Zach sing together at the house party. Only they sing the oft misheard lyrics as "Hold me closer, Tony Danza." Perhaps they really don't know the lyric is "tiny dancer," or maybe they just discovered Friends.
Episode 5: 070 Shake "Under the Moon"
Tony is participating in a boxing match instead of attending the house party, much to the dismay of his partner Caleb (RJ Brown), when this song plays.
Episode 5: "My Body" by Young the Giant
At the end of the episode, the kids think they spot Tyler buying guns and Clay, in what appears to be a dissociative fugue, drives Zach’s car over a ledge while this song plays.
Episode 6: Florist "Today I’ll Have You Around"
This song plays after the active shooter drill, as the students and teachers begin to realize that what they went through wasn't real — the principal and local police just knowingly put them through hell.
Episode 6: "Remedy" by DATAxBÄSS
When Clay is taken away after the drill sends him into a mental tailspin that finds him actually fighting one of the local police involved, this song plays.
Episode 6 Credits: ZTC "Melt the Guns"
This song plays over the credits after Clay is taken away. It really adds to the whole what the hell just happened? vibe.
Episode 8: Parquet Courts "Black and White"
This song plays while Zach and Alex are trashing the principal's office as part of the school-wide walkout in protest against the school's extreme security measures and apparent disregard for students' mental health at Liberty High.
Episode 8: The Jam "The Modern World"
This song plays when the Liberty High students use their active shooter training to fight back against the cops in riot gear who escalate their peaceful protest with violence against the students.
Episode 8 Credits: Gordon Lightfoot "Sundown"
The end credits song for episode 8 is appropriate because the kids planted information about a Gordon Lightfoot concert to catch their parents, who were tracking their phones and reading their texts and emails.
Episode 9: Ben Lee "Love Me Like The World Is Ending"
While Ani serenades Jess, 10 Things I Hate About You style, with Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" to ask her to prom, it's this Ben Lee song that plays while Alex avoids Charlie's many "promposal" attempts.
Episode 9: Mk.gee "Over Here"
This faster song plays while Clay and Tony are chatting about their growth and the friends they've made in high school.
Episode 9: Troye Sivan "The Good Side"
Sivan is pretty appropriate for this moment of closure between Winston and Monty's ghost.
Episode 9: Richard Swift "Would You"
This very snazzy and romantic song plays when Alex and Charlie are crowned prom royalty and take their first dance together.
Episode 9: Tkay Maidza Feat. Killer Mike "Carry On"
Another prom song. This episode is, after all, all about prom.
Episode 9: Daniel Caesar Feat. H.E.R. "Best Part"
This is the slow dance song playing when Justin finally arrives at prom and dances with Jess.
Episode 9: The 1975 "Give Yourself A Try"
This song plays when Clay and his mom have a heartfelt conversation during prom, and he invites her to dance with him.
Episode 9: Galantis "True Feeling"
This is the last song we hear at prom, during that final montage where the characters share one last moment of teenage joy.
Episode 10: Damien Jurado "The Shape of a Storm"
When this song plays, Zach has finally gathered the courage to visit Justin in the hospital.
Episode 10: Grizzly Bear "Half Gate"
There are two montages in the finale where Justin's friends and Clay's family arrive at the hospital waiting for news. This song plays during the first.
Episode 10: Vampire Weekend "Unbelievers"
After Clay makes his graduation speech, we hear this celebratory song.
Episode 10: Beach House "Take Care"
In the final episode, the group buries Hannah Baker's tapes and Jess cuts Bryce Walker's toxic memory out of her life while this song plays.
Episode 10: Arcade Fire "Half Light II (No Celebration)"
In the final moments of the finale, this song plays as Clay packs up the room he shared with Justin and prepares to move on.
Episode 10 Credits: Lindsey Buckingham "Trouble"
Clay's therapist was a fan of Fleetwood Mac, and Clay had a breakthrough while staring at a photo of Buckingham. So this is an appropriate and sweet way to end the series.