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Recapping Essential Songs off the ‘This Is Us’ Soundtrack

The U.S. drama has become critically acclaimed not just for its tear-jerking moments, but also for its music

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Nov 20, 2019

A promo still from 'This Is Us.' Photo: Courtesy of Star World

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American television series This Is Us has an eclectic soundtrack that spans genres and eras, from soul to rock and pop. Since 2016, the drama (with elements of comedy) has left nary a dry eye watching, ploughing through poignant moments aplenty, centered around family life and love. While show runner Dan Fogelman and actors such as Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia are rightly credited for the show’s success, the music used in This Is Us has been important for effect.

The soundtrack and music curation is helmed by a familiar name as well – Indian-American singer-songwriter and composer Siddhartha Khosla, from indie band Goldspot. The Emmy nominated Khosla and his team have carefully handpicked a catalog of songs used on the show that seamlessly move viewers from one emotion to another. Tune in below to hear five of the songs featured in This Is Us, ones that showcase its diversity (spoilers below).

1. “We Can Always Come Back To This”

From season one, this sets the very theme of the soulful family drama. Penned by Siddharth Khosla and Chris Pierce, “We Can Always Come Back to This” plays at a perfect time and beautifully portrays William Hill’s youth and subsequent death. This powerful ballad was played by William’s band in the episode. It was written into the original script as a momentous force but it was Siddhartha Khosla and Pierce who had to craft the heartbeat of the arc of the story, sung by Brian Tyree Henry.

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2. “Memorized”

From season four, this song is featured in the end sequence of the episode Strangers and is co-written by the show’s composer Siddhartha Khosla and Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith and performed by Blake Stadnik. The song presents powerful lyrics which touch upon themes presented throughout This is Us, like the idea that fate plays a role in people’s lives.

3. “Death With Dignity”

From season one, Sufjan Stevens’ “Death With Dignity” comes in to string together scenes, one of the oldest techniques in television. Amplifying the emotional efficacy of a scene, This Is Us goes for that effect, opening with the type of light, strumming music that was basically made to cry to. Soft, mellow and sad, adorned with soothing guitar parts, it may evoke a sense of hope as well.

4. “Jack’s Theme (Three Sentences)”

Khosla, who has also worked on shows such as Runaways and The Royals, has put together countless instrumentals for the show, including its title and credit pieces. “Jack’s Theme,” which first appeared in “Three Sentences” in season one, builds from a simple strum into a grand opus of percussion, strings and ethereal vocals.

5. “Lonesome Loser”

The second season takes us into the life of Kevin, one of the Big Three. This 1979 roller coaster song by Australian rock act Little River Band leaves a strong impact onto its viewers since the scene cuts back and forth between teenaged Kevin and an adult Kevin in the school hallway.

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This Is Us Season 4 is currently airing in India on Star World.

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