Have you found yourself wondering “What’s that song?” while watching your favorite TV shows? If so, we’re here to tell you. Check out our Spotify playlist below and see why these music picks clicked. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!)
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HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER (ABC)
The song: IAMX, “I Come with Knives”
The episode: “Pilot” (101)
The hook: It wouldn’t be a Shonda Rhimes production without a killer soundtrack. In this case, we mean “killer” quite literally. At the beginning of Thursday’s series debut, Hot Chip’s “Dark and Stormy” provided the beat as law school first-year Wes (Alfie Enoch) hurtled into a life-changing class with coldly calculating professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis). By the end of the hour, the verdict was in, and the weapons were out—both on the soundtrack and courtesy of the Keating Krew (a statue and a funeral pyre, for the record). The pulse-pounding tempo of both songs matched the pacing of this twisty, twisted new EW-sanctioned must-watch.
Read Marc Snetiker’s recap, Melissa Maerz’s straight-A review, and Tim Stack’s premiere postmortem with creator Pete Nowalk
MODERN FAMILY (ABC)
The song: Billy Ocean, “Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)”
The episode: “The Long Honeymoon” (601)
The hook: Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) may have been overwhelmed by Cam’s (Eric Stonestreet) over-the-top displays of affection in the wake of their honeymoon, but there’s nothing a little Billy Ocean can’t fix. After Mitch hurt his new husband’s feelings on Wednesday, the newlyweds smoothed over their tiff by dancing to Ocean’s 1984 hit, their first-date anthem that proved they still hadn’t lost their spark.
Find out what Dalene Rovenstine thought about the season 6 premiere, then head over to The Community for their react
THE MINDY PROJECT (Fox)
The song: Lenny Kravitz, “American Woman”
The episode: “We’re a Couple Now, Haters!” (301)
The hook: Danny “Diamond Dan” Castellano
stripping dancing. Thank you, Chris Messina, and thank you, Mindy Kaling. That is all.
Read Ariana Bacle’s recap of the season premiere
LAW & ORDER: SVU (NBC)
The song: Kat Dahlia, “Gangsta”
The episode: “Girls Disappeared” (1601)
The hook: The Miami singer-rapper may not profess to be impressed in her moody thumper, but the gangstas on Wednesday’s SVU were out to make a a deadly point as they “cleaned house” to eliminate witnesses in an ongoing investigation—most shockingly with a horrific drive-by shooting at the playground where Olivia Benson’s (Mariska Hargitay) toddler son was playing.
Read The Community’s react of SVU’s season 16 premiere
FAKING IT (MTV)
The song: Duologue, “Forests”
The episode: “The Morning Aftermath” (201)
The hook: Despite falling out in the season 1 finale, Tuesday’s premiere proved once more that Karma (Katie Stevens) and Liam (Gregg Sulkin) can’t get enough of each other. Good thing, because we can’t get enough of the tunes Music Supervisor Amine Ramer chooses, including this ditty from London quintet Duologue, to echo their throbbing teen hormones.
Check out Natalie Abrams’ teases for season 2 with Stevens and costar Rita Volk, then read The Community’s season 2 premiere react
GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC)*
The song: Odessa, “I Will Be There”
The episode: “I Must Have Lost It on the Wind” (1101)
The hook: The Cali girl’s dreamy spirit-lifter was all over 2014’s season premieres, first as the weep-worthy closer to the Sept. 17 series debut of Red Band Society, one of EW critic Jeff Jensen’s must-watch new shows, then at the end of Thursday’s Grey’s season opener as Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) found her new “person” in Alex (Justin Chambers). In a characteristically touching Grey’s final montage, the folkie’s words symbolized the doctors’ promise to one another.
Read Samantha Highfill’s recap
THE BLACKLIST (NBC)
The song: Ages and Ages, “Divisionary (Do The Right Thing)”
The episode: “Lord Baltimore” (201)
The hook: “Do the right thing, do the right thing. Don’t you know you’re not the only one sufferin’?” Even as Liz (Megan Boone) dealt with her divorce and Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) his trauma, it looks like Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader) might be in for the most hurt this season. As the Portland rockers’ track played out Monday’s premiere, Red received a locket from his nemesis Berlin (Peter Stormare) that pictured Red’s terrified ex-wife Naomi (Mary-Louise Parker), whom Berlin had abducted. Mirroring the circumstances of Berlin’s own vendetta-triggering torture, this sequence made it clear that the war between the two international criminal masterminds has only just begun. Suffering all around!
Read Jodi Walker’s recap and Mandi Bierly’s pre-season chat with Spader
NEW GIRL (Fox)
The song: Bleachers, “I Wanna Get Better”
The episode: “The Last Wedding” (401)
The hook: After a slog of a third season, the Sept. 16 season 4 premiere saw New Girl make a promise to itself and its viewers via this upbeat bouncer from fun.’ guitarist Jack Antonoff’s side project. Two episodes in and some classic loftmate antics later, that promise seems to be holding up. Maybe it does “Get Better” after all?
Read our recap, find out how creator Liz Meriwether plans to sex up season 4, and check out The Community’s coverage of the New season
The song: Bobby Hebb, “Sunny”
The episode: “Randy, Red, Superfreak and Julia” (401)
The hook: OPA was back in business by the end of the season 4 premiere thanks to a surprisingly tender group gathering for Harrison’s (Columbus Short) funeral set to Aretha Franklin’s cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” That said, the show started with a bang on Thursday as Hebb’s 1966 soul stand0ut transported us to a remote island where Olivia (Kerry Washington) was catching some rays. Once Jake (Scott Foley) appeared for a little… uh… bonding session, it didn’t matter whether viewers were in the tropics or the tundra—the heat between these two radiated through the screen. We’d expect nothing else from noted romance writer Shonda Rhimes.
Read Kat Ward’s recap and see if you can handle on Natalie Abrams’ 10 cryptic teases for season 4
SONS OF ANARCHY (FOX)*
The song: The Forest Rangers, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
The episode: “Black Widower” (701)
The hook: Sons’ house band bookended the premiere of the final season premiere on Sept. 9. “Never My Love,” their collaboration with Audra Mae and Billy Valentine, brought viewers up to speed at the top of the hour, and their strummin’-and-growlin’ cover of Queen’s 1975 rock operetta wrapped up the ep. “The story behind that song feels very parallel to the show in terms of someone being condemned and looking for redemption,” creator Kurt Sutter told EW’s Mandi Bierly. “It’s such a crazy-ass song.” (Bonus Twitter love for the Yelawolf stomper “Till It’s Gone,” which appeared in episode 2.)
Read Mandi’s recap of the final season premiere and Music Supervisor Bob Thiele’s breakdown of the montage
PERSON OF INTEREST (CBS)
The song: Jetta, “I’d Love to Change the World”
The episode: “Panopticon” (401)
The hook: Team Machine is back, baby. Despite his fear and disillusionment coming in to the new season, Finch (Michael Emerson) ended Tuesday’s premiere by following the numbers to what could be a new, Samaritan-proof HQ for his temporarily scattered band of vigilantes. If Finch & Co. are really ready to “Change the World” once more, should they go ahead and order the Home Sweet Abandoned Subway Station needlepoint?
See what POI’s EPs and Emerson had to say about season 4’s long game, then read The Community recap
The song: Lykke Li, “No Rest for the Wicked”
The episode: “Look Before You Leap” (102)
The hook: Closing out this week’s two-night, two-episode premiere, Henry (Ioan Gruffudd) received an unsettling phone call from a fellow immortal—an embittered 2,000-year-old, no less—who made it clear there might actually be no eternal “Rest” for either of them, and the Swedish songbird’s meditation on hopeless loneliness conveyed Henry’s feelings about this news.
Read The Community recap of the episode and Samantha Highfill’s chat with creator Matt Miller about what’s in store this season
The song: Radical Face, “The Gilded Hand”
The episode: “The Conspiracy in the Corpse” (1001)
The hook: RIP Sweets! The dopey psychologist (John Francis Daley) met a stunning end on Thursday’s premiere, signaling a tough time ahead for Bones (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz): “Open eyes adjusting to the dark… We’re never clean… And you know, somewhere in there you know there’s nothing here but surviving ‘til something goes away.”
Check out how The Community reacted to season 10’s big shocker
Non-Premiere Honorable Mention:
YOU’RE THE WORST (FX)
The song: “This Woman’s Work,” originally by Kate Bush
The episode: “Fists and Feet and Stuff” (110)
The hook: Leave it to FX’s scrappy, hypersexual little Summer Sitcom That Could to end its first season on Sept. 18 with one of the most irreverent, ridiculous musical performances Jukebox has seen some time. Freshly dumped by her husband and in shame-spiraling denial over her compulsive infidelity, Lindsay (Kether Donohue) musically wallowed in an incredibly uncomfortable, unfortunate (and unasked-for) performance of Kate Bush’s 1988 ballad. Hey, at least big-hearted, PTSD-afflicted hobo Edgar (Desmin Borges) liked it! Yeah, they’re totally gonna hook up…. Bonus: Earlier at the party, Vacationer’s “Paradise Waiting” made good music as Jimmy (Chris Geere) showed up Lindsay’s barbecue to make good with off-again girlfriend Gretchen (Aya Cash).
Read Stephan Lee’s season 1 retrospective with stars Geere and Cash