Spoilers and toe-tappers for episode 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 ahead
One of the many memorable aspects of season 1 of Big Little Lies was the sublime (and improbable) music taste of Madeline’s (Reese Witherspoon) six-year-old daughter Chloe.
She would regularly pull out her iPod classic and spin a funky 1970s deep-cut, and she was, notably, one of the early champions of neo-soul singer Leon Bridges, all while juggling the pressures of the first grade (Year 2).
Thankfully, she’s back to her old tricks immediately in season 2, spinning some cracking tunes within the first few minutes.
Thematically-linked needle drops are key to director Jean-Marc Vallée’s style, which is seamlessly maintained by incoming director Andrea Arnold.
We’ve put together a list of all the songs featured in the season so far. Check out our playlist below (we’ll be updating it every week) followed by a breakdown of every song in the episode.
Michael Kiwanuka – Cold Little Heart
The show’s theme song, which plays over a new credits sequence – and what a banger it is. Glad to have it back.
The Spinners – I’ll Be Around
In a classic Big Little Lies moment, Chloe picks this funky r&b track out on her iPod on the drive to school.
Jimmy Ruffins – What Becomes of the Broken-hearted?
This plays as Renata pulls into her driveway.
Diana Ross – It’s My House
An ’80s pop classic, which plays during Renata’s magazine cover shoot in her house. (Get it?)
Sufjan Stevens – Mystery of Love
Fans of Luca Gaudagnino’s Call Me By Your Name will recognise this Oscar-nominated love song, written for the film by folk singer Sufjan Stevens. It plays as Jane dances joyously on the beach.
Portishead – The Rip
This plays as Madeline confronts Abigail about her decision to skip college.
The Avener & Phoebe Kildeer – Fade Out Lines
A house track which is playing in the background of a restaurant where Celeste and Jane meet.
Cassandra Wilson – Harvest Moon (Neil Young cover)
A haunting rendition of the classic from the Harvest album. It plays over a flashback to better times for Celeste and Perry, and as the family eat dinner together before Mary Louse screams.
Sinead O’Conner – All Apologies (Nirvana cover)
Another beautiful cover. This time the Irish singer slows down Kurt Cobain’s dark hit from Nevermind. It plays as Celeste sketches a man (who looks a lot like Perry) surrounded by snakes.
EPISODE 2 (Major spoilers below)
Neil Young – Down by the River
This track from Neil Young and Crazy Horse features as Celeste drifts off in her car at the beginning of the episode.
Brenton Wood – Great Big Bundle of Love
This soul number plays as Bonnie and Skye are in the car on the way to school.
Charles Bradley Feat Menahan Street Band – Let Love Stand A Chance
Let Love Stand A Chance plays while Bonnie and Jane do yoga.
Alpha – Somewhere Not Here
This plays as Celeste reminisces about an early date with Perry.
Elle King – Good Thing Gone
The track plays as Abigail and Madeline chat in the kitchen, when Ed walks in and overhears Abigail mention her mother’s affair with the theatre director.
Sufjan Stevens – Redford (For Yia-Yia and Pappou)
Sufjan’s mournful instrumental track plays over the final scene.
Villagers – Wonder of You (Elvis Cover)
The inclusion of this version of Elvis’ Wonder of You is particularly bittersweet, as it is the song that Ed sung for Madeline (though his vocals were really that of Villagers frontman Conor O’Brien) at trivia night at the end of season 2. Here, it plays over the credits, after Ed had told Madeline that their marriage is over, following the revelation of adultery.
EPISODE 3 (mild spoilers below)
Cigarettes After Sex – Keep On Loving You
This song plays as Madeline and Abigail chat in Abigail’s room.
Mojave 3 – Bluebird of Happiness
Plays as Jane gets into her car.
Massive Attack – Karmacoma
This heavy track plays as Renata’s husband Gordon sits with his toy train set.
Cowboy Junkies – Dreaming My Dreams With You
This plays during the closing scene.
EPISODE 4 (mild spoilers below)
Timmy Thomas – Why Can’t We Live Together
Drake sampled this track on his ubiquitous hit Hotline Bling. It plays as the Big Little Ladies and their kids carve pumpkins in the kitchen.
The Bee Gees – How Deep is Your Love?
The Bee Gees classic plays at Amabella’s party.
Donna Summer – Lucky
This disco banger comes on the stereo system at the party.
The Tramps – Disco Inferno
The band at Amabella’s birthday party play a version of this tune.
Donnie & Joe Emerson – Baby
Plays while Madeline and Ed are in the car together, and over the end credits.
Aretha Franklin – A Change Is Gonna Come
Plays as Ed and His daughter hug it out in the kitchen.
Chicago – If You Leave Me Now
Zoey gets her class to sing along with this to help with their sleep apnea.
Sparklehorse – It’s A Wonderful Life
Plays as Corey as Jane kiss in the living room.
My Morning Jacket – Victory Dance
Plays over the closing scenes.
Golden Boy With Miss Kittin – Rippin Kittin
Plays as Jane drives to meet Corey.
Ann Peebles – Until You Came Into My Life
This soulful track plays as Ed and Madeline chat in the kitchen.
Placebo – Running Up That Hill
This dark cover of Kate Bush’s song plays as Ed sits in a restaurant.
Roy Orbison – It’s Over
Plays as Jane visits Mary Louise, and over the end credits.
Patti Smith – Everybody Wants To Rule The World
This cover of the Tears For Fears classic plays as Madeline dances in her wedding dress.
Elizabeth Cotten – Shake Sugaree
Plays as Bonnie sits in the hospital with her mother.
Big Little Lies continues on Sky Atlantic on Monday