It's no secret filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée has a talent for choosing the right soundtracks. Think about Simon & Garfunkel's El Condor Pasa (If I Could) and Portishead's Glory Box in Wild; the whole Led Zeppelin sound cameo in Sharp Objects; or music savant Chloe listening to Alabama Shakes and PJ Harvey in the first season of Big Little Lies. Vallée's productions make me want to shazam every single theme song on their soundtracks.
Even though he's not directing the second season of Big Little Lies, he's acting as an executive producer and, according to HBO, is the primary person responsible for making the majority of music choices for this and the previous season.
Here's the list of all the tracks played so far in season 2. We'll update this article after each new Big Little Lies episode.
And yes, the opening credits of the show are still set this season to the sultry notes of Michael Kiwanuka's Cold Little Heart.
Big Little Lies' episode 1 songs
- Bad Reputation by Joan Jett. Jane and Ziggy sing and dance to it the first day of school.
- I'll Be Around by The Spinners. The Monterey Five greet each other on the first day of school. They hug and kiss each other while the rest of the parents look at them from a distance. Bonnie is the last one to arrive. And they all look fabulous.
- Technically I should add the Otter Bay song here, as sung by the school's annoying principal. But let's ignore it.
- What Becomes of the Brokenhearted by Jimmy Ruffin. Renata is listening to it while driving and getting home for her photoshoot.
- It's My House by Diana Ross. Renata listens to it and pretty much performs it while being photographed for the cover of a top women's magazine. This is a big Diana Ross season, at least for Renata.
- Mystery of Love by Sufjan Stevens. Jane dances by the ocean while listening to this song in a very poetic sequence.
- The Rip by Portishead. The always hip Abigail is listening to this while Madeline goes to see her at her ex-husband's place and they argue about the teenager not wanting to go to college.
- The Fade Out Line by Phoebe Killdeer & The Short Straws. The song plays at the open air bar while Jane and Celeste are having a drink together. Celeste wants to know why Jane is not cashing her checks. This one is used a second time during the episode, as the final credits song.
- Harvest Moon by Cassandra Wilson. Celeste drives home and remembers the good moments with Perry while Mary Louise cooks dinner because one cannot survive on fast food every night.
- All Apologies by Sinéad O'Connor. Jane is drawing and picturing Perry's footsteps on the beach.
Big Little Lies' episode 2 songs
- Great Big Bundle of Love by Brenton Wood. Bonnie plays this song in the car with her daughter. She wants to show her she's actually not mad and both start singing it.
- Let Love Stand a Chance by Charles Bradley Feat. Menahan Street Band. Bonnie and Jane listen to this while they are stretching at Bonnie's yoga studio.
- What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted by Jimmy Ruffin. Renata is driving again. But this time she has her husband with her inside of her Tesla S. He's just been released from jail and they start fighting with each other. The music won't play long.
- Good Thing Gone by Elle King. Madeline is cooking while trying to convince Abigail she needs to go to college. Then Abigail spills the beans about Madeline's affair with the theater director and Ed, who wasn't supposed to be home, finds out.
- Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou) by Sufjan Stevens. Musical montage at the end of the episode: Madeline looks at the ocean. Max and Josh spend the afternoon with Ziggy. The song links with The Wonder of You by Conor O'Brien and the final credits.
Big Little Lies' episode 3 songs
- Keep On Loving You by Cigarrettes After Sex. Madeline talks with Abigail, who's very apologetic about Ed learning about her mother's affair.
- Bluebird of Happiness by Mojave 3. Jane is taking Ziggy to school while Mary Louise sees them and realizes he's really Perry's son.
- Karmacoma by Massive Attack. Renata's husband is listening to it in his man cave when she interrupts him. She wants him to sell his toys.
- Dreaming My Dreams With You by Cowboy Junkies. The music Celeste is listening to while rewatching a message Perry left for her. Jane hugs Corey. This links with the end credits.
Big Little Lies' episode 4 songs
- Dreams by POP ETC. Madeline is out of bed early and watches the light of the sunrise against the ocean while drinking coffee. The song also plays during the pumpkin-carving gathering at her place.
- Try Me I Know We Can Make it by Donna Summers. The first song we hear during Amabella's disco birthday party.
- How Deep is Your Love by the Bee Gees. Amabella is dancing with a boy during her party. Renata is both happy for her daughter and reconciling with the fact that all her own dreams and accomplishments have vanished after the bankruptcy hearing.
- Lucky by Donna Summers. Bonnie and her mom dance. Mom doesn't like the energy around her daughter. And Ed doesn't feel like dancing with Madeline in front of all Monterey.
- Disco Inferno by The Trammps. The Trammps are actually headlining this 8-year-old's birthday party.
- Jesus is Waiting by Al Green is the song that can be heard at the bar where Celeste and Jane have a drink. Jane wants to confide in her friend and will end up leaving early.
- Why Can't We Live Together by Jim James. The song that accompanies the credits sequence.