Music has the power to make even the awkward years of middle school feel warm and nostalgic. That's super apparent in the Hulu series PEN15, set in the year 2000, whose new season just dropped. This time around, the PEN15 season 2 soundtrack is all about the girl power. As Maya and Anna's (Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle) world gets more chaotic, they turn to each other for support and the soundtrack reflects that.
Like the characters in PEN15, I too started seventh grade after "surviving" Y2K. It's still a little weird to me that anyone would want to remember the hit songs from that decade (Nickelback, anyone?) but that's the way the time cookie crumbles. Most of the songs in the soundtrack were released in the late '90s, rather than the new millennium itself, but they all fit the vibe of the early aughts. They'd still be listening to '90s songs at the time.
The PEN15 score also includes whatever school chorus and concert band tunes the girls are playing at the time, which is all too accurate to the middle school experience. When you're 13 or 14, that music takes up the same amount of brain space as whatever's on the radio. But as for the' 90s, '00s, and other jams sprinkled throughout PEN15 season 2, here's what the soundtrack has to offer.