The musical minds behind 'Girls,' 'Arrow,' 'Vinyl' and more name the best new tracks

By Leah Greenblatt
May 09, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT
Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

The best TV show soundtracks are like supporting-character MVPs: there to add energy to an upbeat moment or emotional heft to a serious one, and generally make climactic scenes that much more unforgettable. (Try to imagine the Six Feet Under finale without Sia’s “Breathe Me,” or a sudden death on The O.C. with no Imogen HeapMmmwhatchasay.)

EW spoke to three supervisors for some of the biggest shows on TV—and this summer’s most anticipated movies too—about the emerging artists they love right now, and got a sneak preview of the songs you’ll be Shazaming next season. Find out more about their picks and stream them all in the playlist below.


(Girls, Love, The Grinder, New Girl)

Aurora, “Conqueror”

“She’s this 19-year-old Norwegian girl, a total powerhouse. We first found her on YouTube, then had the pleasure working with her to record a cover of David Bowie’s ‘Life On Mars’ for Girls. But what has made me a bigger fan is her live show—seeing her in concert is a religious experience. I got chills.”

Gallant, “Weight In Gold”

 “This guy is amazing. I love how when the song builds to the bombastic chorus, the mood goes from intimate to epic. The abstract lyrics fade and the melody takes over.”

Tink ft. Tazer, “Wet Dollars”

“When you see a kick-ass female rapper getting down with her dance crew on a roof, it makes you wish you could bust move. Well, at least it made me wish I was a better dancer, because the energy and beat of this song is so infectious. It brought me back to the MTV days when a music video was your introduction to a new song and you would watch it over and over again.”

Benji Hughes, “Fall Me In Love”

“To me this is a perfect love song: It’s sweet, it’s funny, it has a catchy chorus. And no love song is complete without a saxophone.”

Escondido, “Uh Huh”

“They’re from Nashville, a duo with this nostalgic sound and catchy melodies. They’re the soundtrack of all my road trips, and this is a song that I can hear a million times and never get sick of.”

Langhorne Slim, “Changes”

“Depending on your mood, this song can intensify your feelings of happiness or loneliness, with equal strength. It’s a reflective song that has you thinking of the past and future simultaneously.”

Margo Price, “Weekender”

“Her classic country sound blends perfectly into the modern-day landscape. Listening to her album to makes me want to kick back and have whiskey, no matter what time it is.”

Nik Freitas, “When It Happened”

He’s a Golden State Native, and this is the perfect Southern California sound. Listening to this always feels like a sunny day.”

Rey Pila, “Fire Away”

“I am a sucker for any New Wave-influenced rock band that can pull off an authentic vintage feel. You would think from their sound that they were a New York band who spent time at CBGB’s, but these guys are from Mexico City and it is cool to see how music truly does influence the world.”

Benjamin Clementine “Cornerstone”

“There’s something really special about him and the music he’s making. His theatrical vocals and classical-influenced piano defy genres—I admire artists who create a truly original sound without boundaries.”

Mumford And Sons, “Ditmas”

“I had tremendous respect for this band when, at the height of their career, they make a bold choice to put down their acoustic guitars and go fully electric. The entire Wilder Mind album is solid and their live show is unbelievable.”


(Arrow, The Flash, Suicide Squad, Legends of Tomorrow, How to Be Single)

Haelos, “Dust”

“I loved this song the moment I heard it, it’s so sexy and dark … We recently placed it in Supergirl.”

Adrian Younge, “Winter Is Here”

“I love the mystery and intrigue in this song: Something is on the verge of happening. Adrian is a total genius; I love everything he’s doing right now.”

 Empress Of, “Woman Is A Word”

“She’s so young but already she’s evolving, and it’s so cool to watch. This song has such a strong sense of female empowerment.”

Margo Price, “Since You Put Me Down” and “Hurtin (On The Bottle)”

I love Margo’s classic country sound. She’s channeling all the greats: Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton.  Plus any song with a pedal steel makes my heart melt!”

Dilly Dally, “Desire” 

“They’re one of the new young female bands I love, a complete throwback to ’90s grunge.”

Savages, “Evil”

“Definite influences from ’70s punk: Gang of Four, Joy Division, Siouxsie & The Banshees. One of these songs could definitely go into a very dark female driven scene—there’s anger, rage, rebellion.”

Lapsley, “Hurt Me”

“I love the soulful emotion in her voice underneath the sexy electro musical bed.  This song is so emotional and in the right scene, it will be even more impactful.

Francis, “Turning A Hand”

“This has such a special coming-of-age quality to it. It instantly reminded me of something I would want to try in a John Green film.” [Kent supervised the soundtracks for The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns.]


(Vinyl, Allegiant, Now You See Me 2)

Future (feat. The Weeknd), “Low Life”

“This would work great playing as Bruce Wayne and Alfred turn the batcave into a trap-house.”

Redd Holt Unlimited, “Do It Baby”

“Even Katniss Everdeen needs to chill, and this old-school groover keeps things cool.”

Young Thug, “Memo”

“I’d try this in a movie where they kidnap the president and he needs to figure out how to escape from whatever dungeon they have him in and get back to the business of making America great again.”

Wolf Alice, “Fluffy”

“[I picture] kids rummaging through their mom’s iPhone, discovering that this is her most played song and realizing that Mom is cooler than they are. They pick up their clothes from the floor and put their dirty dishes in the sink.”

Jeremih, “Oui”

“This song plays from the radio in Bill Murray’s car (a steel grey Bentley Azure) as he drives away from Emily Ratajkowski and understands that their love is impossible. He cries.”

See a full playlist of all the songs below.