How did Bridgerton manage to bring London high society to the 21st century so brilliantly?
Sure, the stunning costumes and witty dialogue did wonders for the success of this period drama. But there’s one other aspect of the show that helps everything along: the soundtrack.
Bridgerton‘s Brilliant Soundtrack
If you’ve already binged the eight-episode season on Netflix — and are possibly re-binging after the season 2 renewal announcement — you’ve probably noticed that the show has a fantastic soundtrack to accompany the gorgeous costumes, lavish ballroom scenes, and witty dialogue.
But if you listen closely, you might find yourself asking, “Wait, was that a string quartet playing Ariana Grande?” And if so, you’d be 100% correct.
The Bridgerton soundtrack masterfully translates contemporary pop music into classical covers befitting the Regency era elite.
“Everything on the show has a contemporary sensibility to it,” Bridgerton showrunner Chris Van Dusen told Seventeen back in December. “Even though we’re in the 19th century, you sometimes forget about that and that’s intentional. We wanted modern audiences to relate to the show and see themselves on screen.”
The juxtaposition of songs like “thank u, next” playing alongside the extremely buttoned-up social interactions of London high society is not only charming, but brilliant. The choice to drop contemporary music into the 19th century setting was very purposeful. It’s meant to reflect Bridgerton’s fresh take on the period romance genre.
Classical Covers of Contemporary Music Make Bridgerton Feel Fresh
“It really goes to the idea of making this feel different than your other period shows,” Van Dusen told Oprah Mag. “Whether it’s music or the world of the show, the scripts, the sets, the costumes it all comes back to infusing things through our own unique modern lens and making things feel relatable to whoever’s watching.”
Who’s responsible for this amazing soundtrack? Composer Kris Bowers is in charge of the show’s music. But when it came to adding that modern twist that Van Dusen was seeking, they called on the Vitamin String Quartet.
You may have heard this Los Angeles group’s music before. They’ve covered a wide variety of genres, including pop, rock, metal, punk, country, hip hop, techno, and more. Their discography includes over 400 albums.
Personally, I love VSQ. I first discovered them when I was in college. Remember all those “String Quartet Tribute to [Insert Artist/Band Here]” albums? I’m revisiting their tribute to A Perfect Circle as I write this. Nostalgia is a heck of a drug.
VSQ’s covers have popped up on other shows before Bridgerton. Their work has been featured on shows like House, Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, Westworld, and even So You Think You Can Dance. It’s usually just a song here and there, but with Bridgerton, VSQ was tapped for four brilliant covers of modern pop songs.
Let’s listen to them all!
Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” covered by VSQ
Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” covered by VSQ
“In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes, covered by VSQ
Billie Eilish’s “bad guy” covered by VSQ
In addition to covers from VSQ, the Bridgerton soundtrack also includes two other modern songs turned classical.
Cover of “Strange” by Celeste
Bowers is responsible for putting together the cover of “Strange” by Celeste. Inspired by VSQ, the cover was recorded with a cellist named Hillary Smith.
Cover of “Wildest Dreams” by Taylor Swift
Additionally, “Wildest Dreams” by Taylor Swift was featured in the show, during the sixth episode. It was covered by Duomo.