The eclectic, moody music of Euphoria is just as iconic as Jules' (Hunter Schafer) wardrobe and those "Rules" lip tattoos. The season 1 score, composed by British musician Labrinth, has taken on a life of its own, and the soundtrack — which combines nostalgic hip-hop, atmospheric indie rock, and everything in between — just as quickly became essential Gen-Z listening. According to music supervisor Jen Malone, Euphoria's soundtrack choices often reflect the characters' internal struggles; a song choice will "support the scene and elevate it, and enhance what's happening and who's the character," she told The Fader. "How can we create a connection between our audience and what they're seeing on-screen?"
This winter, HBO began airing a two-part Euphoria special meant to transition the show's first season into its next. The first segment, "Trouble Don't Last Always," focuses on Rue (Zendaya), and it’s far from a typical Euphoria episode: almost the entire special is comprised of a conversation between Rue and Ali (Colman Domingo), a kind-hearted friend from Narcotics Anonymous. Meanwhile, the second chapter, “F*ck Anyone Who’s Not A Sea Blob,” centers around a therapy session. Neither is as fast-paced or provocative as fans have come to expect from the show, but they offer much-needed peeks into Jules and Rue’s psyches.
Because both specials focus on difficult conversations and often lean into heavy, meaningful silences, Euphoria’s holiday soundtrack is on the sparse side. But the songs are just as carefully chosen, and more than ever, they relate back to Rue's personal growth, Jules’ story, and both characters’ emotional states. Let's break down what each musical moment means.