“Cruel Summer” is set in the 1990s, and the soundtrack is heavily inspired by the music from that era. The mystery throughout this season has been centered on the case of a missing teenager who makes her shocking return , and the community believes that one of her friends might have been involved. That mystery is enough to get me tuning in every week, but there’s another mystery just trying to figure out which ‘90s pop and R&B hits are playing on the soundtrack.
“Linger” by No Vacation
This song plays as Martin Harris is leaving the house to go to school for a staff meeting, leaving Kate behind at home. NAME is filming Martin Harris heading to work as his sprinklers go off. Little did NAME know that Kate was standing in the window of Martin’s house in the background of the shot. This song is a cover of the song originally recorded by The Cranberries.
“There She Is” by Johnny Amoroso
This song plays very faintly in the background while Kate and Martin play the drinking game Never Have I Ever. They share deeply personal stories and secrets to each other. Johnny Amoroso was popular for his work in the 1940s and 1950s as the lead vocalist in the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and Jack Pleis and His Orchestra. This specific jazz song was released in 1968 by Johnny Amoroso and his quartet, and it was featured on a project of dePasquale/Cohen songs.
“Laid” by The Pains of Being Pure At Heart”
While Kate and Martin play hide and seek, running throughout the house and down the stairs, this song is playing. Indie-pop group The Pains of Being Pure at Heart released their cover of the song “Laid” by James on their 2015 EP, Hell. The song was originally released by the Manchester alt-rock band James on their 1993 album, Laid. It also served as the theme song for the American Pie films.
The season finale of “Cruel Summer” airs next Tuesday, June 15 on Freeform. All episodes are streaming now on Hulu.