After tuning into the slow burn mastery of the premiere of HBO's latest acclaimed limited series, fans may be wondering where they can stream the Sharp Objects soundtrack. Music permeates every dark corner and crevice of the show's enthralling first episode, creating the unbearably suffocating mood that simultaneously oppresses Amy Adams' Camille and intrigues the viewer. And if you're as obsessed with the show as I am after just one installment, you're going to want to listen to that haunting, hypnotizing soundtrack over and over during the agonizing wait between episodes.
While some viewers and critics may draw comparisons between Sharp Objects and True Detective — for its gritty tone, gothic atmosphere, and gruesome murder mystery — the new series has just as much (if not more) in common with Big Little Lies: both are adaptations of best-selling mystery novels written by women, airing on HBO, starring Oscar-nominated actresses, boasting killer soundtracks, and even directed by the same man. Jean-Marc Vallée, the French-Canadian director of films like Dallas Buyers Club and Wild, helmed every episode of both Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects. Susan Jacobs is the music supervisor on both projects, so it's clear that the director wanted the latter series to have a similarly incredible soundtrack as the former.
On Big Little Lies, music was a constant presence in the series, from the melancholy tune of Michael Kiwanuka's "Cold Little Heart" under the opening credits to the cheery strains of Madeline's production of Avenue Q. The songs that soundtracked the episodes were almost always introduced organically within the world of the show itself, through car radios or sound systems or little Chloe's Mackenzie's ever-present iPod.
In another point of similarity between the shows, the music in Sharp Objects is frequently diegetic as well. Most of the songs in the premiere were either piped in through Alan Crellin's state-of-the-art hi-fi, or streamed through Camille's busted iPod. Other songs — like Sylvan Esso's "Come Down," which plays under the episode's opening dream sequence — feel like they've been beamed out of some half-forgotten memory lurking deep in the recesses of Camille's troubled mind. This makes the songs less of an ambient background detail, and more of a character in their own right, as though personifying the personality of the town of Wind Gap itself through music.
Although there's no official soundtrack yet available for purchase on either Amazon or iTunes, some sites have gone to the trouble of helpfully cataloguing all the musical cues in the first episode, so you can fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Wind Gap, Missouri. According to Pop Sugar, aside from the aforementioned "Come Down," the premiere — titled "Vanish" — also contained songs like The Acid's "Tumbling Down" (whose xylophone melody you may recognize from the show's trailers), Led Zeppelin's "What Is And What Should Never Be" and "I Can't Quit You Baby" (both blaring from Camille's iPod), Ludovico Einaudi's "Dietro casa" (piped through Alan's sound system), the appropriately-titled folk track "Small Town Heroes" by Hurray For The Riff Raff, and of course Camille's karaoke song of choice, "Ring Of Fire."
Fortunately, even though you can't buy the soundtrack yet, you can stream it. All 13 songs that appeared in the premiere are available in a Sharp Objects playlist on Spotify, courtesy of Columbia Records — possibly indicating that the record label intends to put out a full soundtrack for purchase once the season wraps up.
Presumably Columbia will be adding songs to the playlist as the season goes on and more episodes air, so keep your eyes (and ears) on Spotify to get the full Sharp Objects effect.