Spoilers are ahead. The music that scores HBO Max's Generation is just as eclectic and moody as the ensemble of teens at its center. One moment, it's unapologetic and slinky; another moment, it's soft and contemplative. And it doesn't just reflect the cast, but echoes both the chaotic mix of emotions and scenarios that make up the envelope-pushing show.
Produced by Lena Dunham and created by father-daughter duo Daniel Barnz and 18-year-old Zelda Barnz, the dramedy follows a group of teenagers as they struggle to navigate their sexuality and beliefs despite living in a conservative community. While you might recognize Chester (Justice Smith), Generation is brimming with relatively new faces, including Nathanya Alexander, Chloe East, Nava Mau, Lukita Maxwell, Haley Sanchez, Chase Sui Wonders, and Uly Schlesinger.
Throughout the series, the music tells a story right along with the dialogue in a way that compliments and accentuates rather than overpower. That's because the score doesn't feel like it was handpicked by someone who thinks they know what Gen Z listens to. As Smith said in a recent panel, Generation as a whole offers a more realistic depiction of the modern day “zeitgeist” of teenage life. Ahead are songs that are right on the pulse on the new, well, generation.
This article will be updated as Generation airs.