Culture/TV

15 of the best songs featured on Riverdale (so far)

When the cast isn't busy making us love/hate their covers of our favourite songs, we're left with a list of tunes even a serpent would enjoy.

January 29, 2019

Grab your pom-poms and leather jackets because Riverdale is back in action after a brief holiday hiatus, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than putting together a list of the best tracks featured in the show. After all, a CW drama isn’t complete without a soundtrack that mixes both mainstream and under-the-radar tunes.

In season one of Riverdale, our ears were met with the sounds of songs we already knew and loved, and others we were quick to fall for and forced to Shazam. By season two we were bombarded by covers sung by the cast—which were admittedly often difficult to get through as the cheese factor reached an all-time high. As we trek through season three, we’re positive that here will be enough noteworthy tracks that deserve a spot on this list. Let’s take a look at best of the best to be featured on the show.

Tove Styrke —“Number One”

Season 1, Episode 1, “Chapter 1: The River’s Edge”

The first episode of Riverdale set the tone for the series and the creators certainly didn’t skimp when it came to the music. As we get to know the live action version of Betty, it’s easy to believe that she would dance around her room to the pumped up sounds of Tove Styrke. But only after  making the cheerleading team and convincing Archie to accompany her Veronica to the dance, of course.

Johnny Jewel Feat. Saoirse Ronan —“Tell Me”

Season 1, Episode 1, “Chapter 1: The River’s Edge”

The song Lost River is a twinkling ballad that features the delicate vocals of actress Saoirse Ronan and was written by Johnny Jewel, member of the Chromatics. It acts as the perfectly eerie backdrop while Cheryl Blossom and her twin brother Jason are seen rowing across Sweetwater River— and only one of them makes it back!

Tegan and Sara – “Boyfriend”

Season 1, Episode 1, “Chapter 1: The River’s Edge”

It may play faintly in the background but that doesn’t stop Tegan and Sara’s “Boyfriend” from serving up some major innuendo. Cheryl sets up a game of spin the bottle that quickly pits Betty and Veronica against one another over a guy that is not-so-secretly the object of both their affection. The song depicts the never-ending “will they, won’t they” saga of the series.

Milk & Bone — “Natalie”

Season 1, Episode 3, “Chapter 3: Body Double”

Chuck and Veronica bonded over the difficulties of being the new kid in town while Montreal favourites, Milk & Bone played on his car stereo, and, for a moment, we were rooting for him. But he quickly destroyed it all by being a massive creep and nearly ruined the song “Natalie” for both us and Veronica.

Kiiara —“Gold”

Season 1, Episode 3, “Chapter 3: Body Double”

There’s really nothing more rewarding than seeing dark Betty make a classic Riverdale appearance—even more so when she’s gearing up to sabotage Chuck from Ethel’s pool. The introduction to her alter ego is set to the beat of Kiiara’s “Gold,” making an already seductive track that more appetizing.

Dean Lewis — “Waves”

Season 1, Episode 4, “Chapter 4: The Last Picture Show”

 

We’re often quick to mock montages but we can’t deny how the emotionally-driven song “Waves” gets the job done the right way. In the dramatic end to the fourth episode we are serenaded as we watch Miss Grundy leave town in shame, while Jughead packs up his things at the drive-in and reveals his father is a sneaky Serpent.

 

Jai Wolf Feat. MNDR — “Like It’s Over”

Season 1, Episode 7, “Chapter 7: In a Lonely Place”

Not one to open up about her emotions, Veronica tries to cover up her disappoint in her family by taking her friends out for a night of dancing. The repetitive chorus of “Like It’s Over” serves as the backdrop when she finally cracks and tells her friends the real reason she needed the distraction, which ultimately ends up encouraging her to lift the weight of her emotions.

Chromatics — “Into the Black”

Season 1, Episode 8 “Chapter 8: The Outsiders”

The haunting sounds of the Chromatics have been heard across many popular television shows, but they might have hit the nail on the head in this episode of Riverdale. So much is revealed during the spooky interlude of the Neil Young cover: it lingers perfectly in the background as FP informs Hermione that Hiram was responsible for the attack on Fred’s company, while Polly goes to the Blossom estate, leaving Betty to tell her mom that she couldn’t convince her to stay.

The Cast of Riverdale — “Mad World”

Season 2, Episode 8 “Chapter 21: House of the Devil”

At FP’s retirement party everyone comes out to celebrate including Veronica and Archie who perform a cover of “Mad World.” And while watching the Riverdale cast perform renditions of popular songs is kind of cringe-worthy, it’s hard not to look away when Betty takes the stage to perform The Serpent Dance in an effort to stay close to Jughead. It somehow makes this cover of “Mad World” more tolerable.

Anna of the North — “Lovers”

Season 2, Episode 12 “Chapter 25: The Wicked and the Divine”

Watching Archie get in deeper and deeper with grimy Hiram Lodge makes you want to shake him until his ginger hair turns brown. That frustration is heightened when it starts to hit Veronica that her precious Archiekins ain’t so innocent after all. We are rooting for this problematic couple and “Lovers” gives us all the lovey-dovey vibes we need for them to make it all the way—despite a corrupt family business.

Ann Marr — “Bullet”

Season 2, Episode 17 “Chapter 30: The Noose Tightens”

Marking one of the best (and pivotal) scenes from Season 2 is Veronica and Toni’s epic break-in at Sisters of Quiet Mercy to save Cheryl from the crazy nuns. There is absolutely no arguing, and the soft sounds of Ann Marr acts as an incredibly romantic backdrop for Toni and Cheryl’s first kiss—which we were all impatiently waiting for.

5 Seconds of Summer — “Youngblood”

Season 3, Episode 1 “Chapter 36: Labor Day”

The Riverdale gang always need an upbeat summer jam to kick off the beginning of a new season and nothing says teens gone wild like 5SOS summer anthem, “Youngblood.” This jam sits nicely in the beginning of season three as Betty ditches her farm-loving fam to hang with Archie and company before his impending doom.

Billy Idol — “Dancing with Myself”

Season 3, Episode 4 “Chapter 39: The Midnight Club”

A throwback where Alice Cooper finds out she is pregnant with FP’s baby just wouldn’t be complete with the pairing of an ‘80s classic like “Dancing With Myself.” It tries to humanize Betty’s mom by providing us some kind of emotional attachment, but we just can’t wrap our heads around the fact that another CW show has a storyline where parents of a teen couple also begin falling in love with each other.  

David Bowie — “Modern Love”

Season 3, Episode 4 “Chapter 39: The Midnight Club”

Hearing “Modern Love” play while Alice explains how The Midnight Club took their Gryphons & Gargoyles game into the real world doesn’t quite have the same effect as Greta Gerwig dancing down the streets of Manhattan—but we’ll take it.

Isla June — “Strange Times, Dark Days”

Season 3, Episode 5 “Chapter 40: The Great Escape”

Between the thrill of seeing Veronica and Archie reunited in the fight club locker room, and the indulgence of their NSFW makeout sesh, we can definitely see why the sexy sounds of “Strange Times, Dark Days” was selected for this scene.

 

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