Right about now, many of us would have been getting ready to jet off on our holidays. But instead of sun-soaked, cocktail-fuelled evenings on the beach, we’re stuck indoors contemplating the very nature of our existence as lockdown citizens. It sucks, to be honest.
However, if anything has made life more bearable since Contagion ceased to be a fictional account, it’s TV. In fact, there’s one TV show in particular that has made us all feel a bit more vibey. Yup, we’re talking about White Lines, the drug-fuelled Netflix murder mystery that’s set in Ibiza. Stuffed with gripping plot lines and seemingly populated entirely by supermodels, it’s also got a banging tracklist. From Madchester’s greatest club anthems to the ’90s most ‘mad fer it’ indie classics, the tune-filled series is sure to give you a much-needed boost in the time of corona. Here are some of the best music moments on the White Lines soundtrack.
Primal Scream – ‘Movin’ on Up’
Our first introduction to party-loving, Mancunian-born DJ Marcus Ward (played by Daniel Mays) in episode one, comes as he’s driving through the sunny streets of Ibiza in his open-top jeep. While driving, he’s seemingly loving life and the moment, singing along loudly to this Primal Scream classic form their seminal 1991 album, ‘Screamadelica’. A song for sunny days and hedonistic escapes, it’s one of the most fun moments of the series.
Like this? Try this: Primal Scream’s 1991 album ‘Screamadelica’
Death in Vegas – ‘23 Lies’
This trippy shoegaze classic from Death in Vegas’ acclaimed 2003 album, ‘Scorpio Rising’ plays over a scene which sees Zoe Walker (Laura Haddock) drive a scooter through the sun-kissed Ibiza countryside shortly after her arrival. As she comes to terms with learning about her brother Axel’s death, this dreamy song captures her hazy half-awake, half-dreaming state perfectly. It still sounds incredible.
Like this? Try this: Lush’s ‘Sunbathing’ from their 1990 album ‘Lava’
Karen Souza – ‘Creep’
There have been hundreds of Radiohead covers over the years, but it’s hard to find one as strikingly different from the original as this. A woozy, slowed-down jazz re-working of Radiohead’s most well-known song, it plays over a scene where Anna (Angela Griffin) is overseeing a drug-fuelled, mass orgy for Ibiza’s wealthiest. The song captures the sleaziness of some of those involved – like the very creepy Oriol Calafat – as well as its sheer absurdity as we see hundreds of naked people romping on screen. Thom Yorke is probably blushing somewhere.
Like this? Try this: Korn’s MTV Unplugged cover of ‘Creep’ from 2007
Age of Love – ‘The Age of Love (Watch Out for Stella Mix)’
At the start of episode two, we’re transported back to 1990s Madchester and the site of one of Axel Collins’ (Tom Rhys Harries) illegal raves. With its trance-y Hacienda-style vibes, the song begins with some traditional pulsating techno before descending into trippy, escapist euphoria – just as everyone in the crowd is losing themselves to ecstasy. Moments later, at the song’s peak, the police burst in and split up the rave and all hell breaks loose. A classic ‘mad fer it’ moment.
Like this? Try this: This Hacienda Classical compilation is the perfect album to lose yourself in
Willie Nelson – ‘Cruel World’
A show about hedonistic days in Ibiza is probably the last place you’d expect to find a country classic – but then again, White Lines is frequently bonkers and delights in defying all expectations. The inclusion of this darkly playful classic is used for a scene when Marcus comes face-to-face with his Romanian drug-suppliers after he’s lost all of their drugs. The suppliers proceed to break Marcus’ leg – all ironically soundtracked by Willie Nelson’s superb middle-finger flick to the bad times. It’s one of the funniest musical moments of the season.
Like this? Try this: ‘Jackson’ by Johnny Cash and June Carter
Happy Mondays – ‘Hallelujah – Club Mix’
In episode three, we’re taken to the scene of just one of many parties on Ibiza. This one is in the past when we see the younger versions of our main characters enjoying a pool party at the Calafat mansion. Spun on the DJ desks at Oriol’s party, this song’s carefree abandon matches the innocence and excitement of the Manchester characters – then new to the island. This re-mixed version of the Madchester classic is even better than the original. Dig out your maracas and channel your inner Bez as you dance along.
Like this? Try this: ‘Kinky Afro’ by Happy Mondays
Groove Armada – ‘At The River’
In one of the show’s most surreal moments, Marcus’ dog gets high after lapping up some spilled white lines of coke from his garden. In episode three, the producers cut to a scene of the dog floating in the pool with blissful abandon, all soundtracked by this Groove Armada classic. In the ’90s, it was impossible not to hear this dreamy tune playing on every radio throughout long summers and carefree days. Enjoy the bliss.
Like this? Try this: ‘Dare’ by Gorillaz
The Prodigy – ‘Hotride’
In episode four, we see a furious car chase with Zoe (Haddock) and Boxer (Nuno Lopes) at the wheel. The adrenaline-fuelled moment which brings Fast and Furious vibes to Ibiza has one of the best musical moments when this 2004 Prodigy classic blasts over all the various twists and turns of Zoe and Boxer evading the police through a deserted Ibiza forest. Featuring brilliantly dark, pulpy vocals from Juliette Lewis, it still sounds as fierce as it did on its release.
Like this? Try this: ‘Hey Boy Hey Girl’ by The Chemical Brothers
Foreign Air – ‘Free Animal’
Just before one of episode’s four’s most dramatic – and surprising – accidents, this 2016 banger from Foreign Air veers between trippy dreamscapes and moments of hedonistic dance – it’s also got a killer chorus to boot. The trippy parts of this song make the scene of the accident all the more dramatic when it arrives as it’s when we’re least expecting it. Expect to jump (to the song, and the scene).
Like this? Try this: ‘Deja vu’ by Glass Animals
Primal Scream – ‘Give Out But Don’t Give Up (Portishead Remix)’
In episode 4 and another flashback to Manchester, this Portishead remix of a classic Primal Scream song makes a standout appearance. Arguably one of the best Primal Scream remixes there is, its spaced-out, stoned disorientation matches the heady drug-fuelled days of the younger characters in Manchester before their eventual escape to Ibiza. With two of the best bands from the era combined, it was always bound to be brilliant.
Like this? Try this: ‘Glory Box’ by Portishead
M83 – ‘Outro’
This stunning classic from dance innovators M83 soundtracks a rare, touching scene with the usually warring Calafat family. During an unusual moment of unity in the hospital in episode six, this heady euphonic track – one of the standouts on M83’s acclaimed ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming’ album – captures the joyful moment of peace between the family well. Its incredible crescendo sounds over the end of one of the season’s best episodes.
Like this? Try this: ‘Space Song’ by Beach House
Mabel – ‘Don’t Call Me Up’
This infectious track from Mabel’s standout ‘Ivy to Roses’ mixtape appears when Marcus’ house is repossessed during episode six. Played by Marcus’ daughter, its bitter-sweet lyrics reflect the abandonment Marcus feels when everyone he’s depended on previously leaves him high and dry. The song also shows the increasing difference between the aging DJ and the young party people populating Ibiza – and Marcus’ refusal to accept he’s not 21 anymore and that he dances a bit like a dad.
Like this? Try this: ‘Secrets’ by Raye
The Verve – ‘Already There’
This dreamy classic which sees Richard Ashcroft channel his inner shoegaze plays when Zoe abandons the reunion dinner set up by David (Laurence Fox) which brings all of Axel’s closest friends together in one place. In this standout moment of episode seven, a drunken and drug-fuelled Marcus sets off fireworks as Zoe storms out of the reunion, more confused about who killed Axel than ever. The song’s heavy, shattering conclusion captures Zoe’s growing disorientation with life on Ibiza well. There’s trouble ahead.
Like this? Try this: ‘Only Shallow’ by My Bloody Valentine
The Lisa Marie Experience – ‘Keep On Jumping’
In 1996 when many Ibiza clubs were still in their formative years, dance music started to cross over to the mainstream for the first time – and this was one of the first. Played all over the radio and MTV, this classic reflects the excitement and breeziness of early Ibiza when superstar DJs like Pete Tong and Spiller were making names for themselves in the island’s biggest clubs. ‘Keep On Jumping’ is played when Axel shows his friends where he’s purchased land for one of his first Amadeus clubs in episode nine. Their excitement at their growing success is matched perfectly in this club classic.
Like this? Try this: ‘Lola’s Theme’ by The Shapeshifters
UNKLE – ‘Price You Pay’
As the party starts to end in Ibiza, the music takes a darker turn and this song accompanies one of the final scenes before we learn just what happened to Axel in episode 10. This moody classic from UNKLE featured on 2007’s ‘War Stories’ and is the ultimate comedown for when the party has well and truly ended. Its rockier ending matches Axel’s growing recklessness well as his character continues to self-destruct.
Like this? Try this: ‘Hell is Round the Corner’ by Tricky
‘White Lines’ is streaming on Netflix now