Netflix's 13 Reasons Why has a powerful soundtrack, but there's one detail you may not have noticed about the show's choice of music during your binge-watch session. According to Variety, every character on 13 Reasons Why has their own musical score, which helped showcase their own narrative arc throughout season 1 of the series.
Variety spoke to 13 Reasons Why composer Eskmo (real name Brendan Angelides), who told the trade that he felt a connection to the high school drama because music was his "saving grace" during his teen years. His plan was to create a soundtrack that not only fit into the themes of the series — which include bullying and other issues teenagers face in high school — but also one that shaped individual characters.
Eskmo quickly found that the only way to really do that was to give each character their own score. He told Variety:
"A huge part of this work was maintaining the integrity of the original story and maintaining the integrity around these imaginary kids... They have to be real." Eskmo told the trade.
Each character who ended up on Hannah's (Katherine Langford) tapes has their own thoughts, emotions, and motivations. Variety reports that Eskmo — who had only a week to compose each episode — mirrored each character's emotional arc within his music. For Tyler (Devin Druid), Hannah's "stalker" who is revealed to have a collection of weapons at the end of season 1, his theme music became more "retro-electronic" as he approaches his seemingly violent breaking point. Variety reports that Hannah, who is presented exclusively in flashbacks, has "beauty" to her theme but with a "foreboding warble" that hints at her suicide.
While the theme music definitely helped evoke the mood of the series, it's not the only musical element that fans fell in love with when watching this show. Fans adored songs like "The Night We Met" by Lord Huron and Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," both of which appeared at prominent points during the show's first season. As Eskmo himself said, music is vital to helping many teenagers get through hard times — it only makes sense that the Netflix show's characters are deeply connected to music as well.