Season 2 of Mindhunter is finally here, and with it a very immersive and era-specific soundtrack. The show takes viewers into the minds of some of history’s most notorious serial killers as FBI agents Holden Ford, Bill Tench, and Wendy Carr develop early psychological profiling. We can’t think of a better way to take us back to a specific time and place — in this case the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, than with a killer soundtrack (pun intended).
The soundtrack features a smattering of better and lesser known tracks from the time, ranging from underground hits such as “The Overload” by the Talking Heads to more popular songs like “Call Me” by Blondie. Some of the songs definitely appear to have been picked based on subject matter as much as historical accuracy. Songs like “Guilt” by Marianne Faithfull, “Intruder” by Peter Gabriel, “Darkness” by The Police, and “Crime of the Century” by Jason Hill reflect the dark shadow looming over the season as the team investigates the Atlanta Child Murders, delve into the twisted minds of some of the century’s most violent criminals, and Ford continues to struggle with panic attacks.
Many of the songs act as subtle cues of the era to remind us that a lot of criminal psychology and profiling has been a relatively recent development when you take into account the history of detective work and solving crimes. Much of it was developed in the past 40 to 50 years which is underscored by the music. It’s a throwback, for sure, but the throwback isn’t that far.
One song in particular evokes an even higher level of creepiness. In the end credits of episode 5, which spends a considerable time on a storyline involving Charles Manson, the song playing, “Cease To Exist,” is by Manson himself.
Warning: spoilers for Mindhunter season 2 ahead.