We’ve pulled together a collection of songs from recent TV episodes, complete with artist and album information in case you want to add them to your permanent collection.
Spoilers abound, and we chose songs we liked – but we always want to hear your thoughts and suggestions.
So peruse our playlist, and then hit the comments with your favorite TV jams! And remember: You can always submit questions or suggestions about TV music on Twitter @rebeccaiannucci.
SERIES AND EPISODE | The Mindy Project, “Take Me With You”
TITLE | “Midnight City”
ARTIST | M83
ALBUM | Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (2011)
WHY IT ROCKED | For those of us writing “Mindy + Danny 4EVER” on our Trapper Keepers, the almost-kiss in the final minutes of this season’s finale was positively maddening. But paired with M83’s synth-tastic jam, at least we could still justify a dance party in our living rooms.
SERIES AND EPISODE | So You Think You Can Dance, “Auditions: Los Angeles, Pt. 2/Austin”
TITLE | “Near Light”
ARTIST | Olafur Arnalds
ALBUM | Living Room Songs (2011)
WHY IT ROCKED | Arnalds’ stirring, string-laden tune was used in a solo by Season 9 champ Eliana Girard, but we were happy to see it dusted off for Shane Garcia’s bone-breaking audition in Austin this year. Although Shane struggles with a stutter, this haunting melody served as the perfect backdrop to talent that speaks for itself.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Criminal Minds, “The Replicator”
TITLE | “Ashes Like Snow”
ARTIST | Lily Kershaw
ALBUM | Ashes Like Snow (2013)
WHY IT ROCKED | “Ashes falling like snow, as the wind blows their last breaths upon the breeze,” Kershaw sings as the team mourns fallen BAU Section Chief Erin Strauss. It’s a bittersweet moment as they reminisce on Strauss’ triumphs; the songbird’s somber refrain is remarkably fitting.
LINER NOTES | The minds behind Minds do love Kershaw: Also check out “As It Seems,” which was featured in the show’s Season 7 finale.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Nashville, “A Picture from Life’s Other Side”
TITLE | “Sunrise”
ARTIST | Lonesome Animals
ALBUM | Soft Light (2013)
WHY IT ROCKED | Gunnar begs for forgiveness, Juliette cries for her misguided mother, Rayna tries to reassure Teddy and Maddie tries to figure out exactly what the heck she’s seen in her mom’s stash of secrets. “I don’t think that my dad is my father,” she cries during a phone call to a friend. It’s OK, kiddo. Just pump this ethereal Lonesome Animals track and wail your heart out: As we now know, it’s gonna get much worse before it gets better.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Arrow, “Darkness on the Edge of Town”
TITLE | “Radioactive”
ARTIST | Imagine Dragons
ALBUM | Night Visions (2012)
WHY IT ROCKED | There’s been no shortage of Imagine Dragons’ bass-heavy hit on TV this season (see: promos for Chicago Fire and Graceland, among others). But its best use came in the Arrow season finale, when Oliver and Laurel are finally on the same page after a season’s worth of tension. The song’s slow crescendo as the two get, um, handsy had us glued to the action – even a jilted Tommy couldn’t look away!
SERIES AND EPISODE | Revolution, “The Dark Tower”
TITLE | “Can’t Find My Way Home”
ARTIST | Blind Faith
ALBUM | Blind Faith (1969)
WHY IT ROCKED | After creating an enviable classic rock soundtrack on Supernatural, it’s no surprise that Revolution creator Eric Kripke was behind the mostly wordless Season 1 finale montage, backed by this Blind Faith ditty. With symbolic lyrics like, “Somebody must change” (and a sweeping shot of Miles to go with it!), the ’69 hit proved timeless.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Bates Motel, “Midnight”
TITLE | “Sunburnt Love”
ARTIST | Bangups
ALBUM | Ten Dollars An Hour (2009)
WHY IT ROCKED | It’s an odd juxtaposition when the Bangups’ punchy guitar riffs play faintly over Norman getting a fist in the face at his school dance. Feel bad for the kid, or rock out to the background music? That is the question.
SERIES AND EPISODE | How I Met Your Mother, “Something New”
TITLE | “Simple Song”
ARTIST | The Shins
ALBUM | Port of Morrow (2012)
WHY IT ROCKED | Never have six words been so eagerly anticipated on the small screen than when the long-awaited Mother requested a ticket to Farhampton. To top off this Seriously Epic Moment, The Shins’ wistful mid-tempo tune underscored a montage that left so many questions unanswered: Will Lily make it to Italy after all? Will Barney and Robin go through with the wedding? Does The Mother get her train ticket?!