Spotify's New "Upside Down" Feature Creates Custom Vecna Playlists

After Steve Harrington came swinging through the "Stranger Things" season one finale with a barbed baseball bat and Eleven and Billy saved the day in seasons two and three, the show's writers came up with an unexpectedly metaphysical solution to the Upside Down's latest demonic takeover: music, specifically Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)." Even in all his undead, "Alien vs. Predator"-esque glory, Vecna's supernatural abilities were no match for Max's favorite song. Thanks to Spotify's new "Upside Down Playlist" feature, every "Stranger Things" fan will know exactly which songs to blast to save themselves from Vecna's curse.

"Kate Bush's lyrics can mean very different things to different people," the show's music supervisor, Nora Felder, told Variety about Max's favorite song. "In the face of Max's painful isolation and alienation from others, a 'deal with god' could heart-wrenchingly reflect Max's implicit belief that only a miracle of unlikely understanding and show of support could help her climb the hills of life before her." A good song can turn a hangout into a party and transform even the most boring road trip into a karaoke extravaganza, but which songs truly possess the power to foil a superhuman creature's evil plans?

In an interview with Netflix about the show's fourth season, Sadie Sink β€” who starred in Taylor Swift's "All Too Well" video alongside Dylan O'Brien β€” revealed that her Vecna song would be a more recent Swift hit off of "Folklore." Noah Schnapp also hopped onto Twitter to share his own Vecna song, a chart-topping Cardi B hit that would leave Joyce Byers stunned. On June 6, Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays the nightmarish villain terrorizing Hawkins, explained that his "Vecna" song would be more along the lines of "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus, an unexpected choice for an onscreen demonic entity but a bop nonetheless.

While some of the "Stranger Things" cast have weighed in on which songs would save them from being trapped in the Upside Down, we turned to our editors for a glimpse at the songs that would keep us "running up that hill" and back through the portal to the Rightside Up. Take a closer look at our Vecna-proof playlist and use Spotify's new "Upside Down Playlist" feature to uncover your "savior song" ahead.

01

Spotify's "Stranger Things" Upside Down Playlist Feature

On July 1, Netflix released Vol. 2 of the fourth season of "Stranger Things." Adding to the supernatural excitement, Spotify also released an "Upside Down Playlist" feature that allows Spotify users to uncover their custom savior playlists composed of songs that would protect them from Vecna. "Wanna know what songs would save YOU from vecna? head to your Upside Down Playlist on @Spotify to find out 🎧 the first Song on the list = your savior song 🎧," the official "Stranger Things" account tweeted.

Once you click on the link, you'll be redirected to your Spotify account, where the "Upside Down Playlist" will automatically open up, revealing 50 of your favorite songs that would protect you from being trapped in the Upside Down. While the first song is the most powerful, each track is charged with the energy you need to take on Vecna in the season four finale.

02
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"August" by Taylor Swift

In a season four "Stranger Things" interview with Netflix, Sink revealed that Swift's "August" would save her from Vecna's spell. "That song honestly can revive me from anything," she said, even though she admitted that Swift's "The 1" was at the top of her Spotify Wrapped in 2021.

03
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"Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus

In an interview with ET Canada on the MTV Movie and TV Awards red carpet, Jamie Campbell Bower, aka Vecna himself, revealed that his go-to song to save him from the villain's otherworldly spell would be a party anthem for the ages: Miley Cyrus's "Party in the USA."

"If I'm being normal, it would be β€” Placebo covered 'Running Up That Hill' by Kate Bush, so I would do that. Both of them together [are] beautiful. And if I'm being cheeky and fun, it would be Miley Cyrus's 'Party in the the USA.' That's for the old people who know me from way back when." Are we now imagining Vecna "noddin' my head like yeah, movin' my hips like yeah" and waving his tentacles to the rhythm in the Upside Down? Absolutely.

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"WAP" by Cardi B Feat. Megan Thee Stallion

On May 30, Noah Schnapp, who plays mild-mannered Will Byers on "Stranger Things," surprised fans when he tweeted, "If I ever get cursed by vecna just play WAP on my AirPods and I'll be out of that trance in no time." Considering the song debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 list with 93 million US streams, it makes sense that Schnapp β€” and the 245,000 people who liked his post β€” would let Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion save them from supernatural peril.

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"Cruel Summer" by Taylor Swift

"There may be songs I love a little more, but I would want my scene of escaping Vecna's clutches to be just as thrilling as Max's, so I need a song that would give me the power to run for my life (and I hate running). But if 'Cruel Summer' came on?? Taylor, I am sprinting to you." β€” Victoria Edel, Staff Writer, Movies & TV

06
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"Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield

"This has been my go-to karaoke song for years, so I think the nostalgic memories tied to it would help pull me out of Vecna's grasp. The lyrics are also pretty fitting for that situation, since I'd be 'reaching for something in the distance' just like Max was as she ran toward her friends to escape the Upside Down." β€” Victoria Messina, Editor, Trending and Viral Features

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"Party All the Time" by Eddie Murphy

"If I found myself fighting for my life against Vecna in the Upside Down, I'd need a song with '80s pop synths and irresistible lyrics to bring me back to the here and now. Eddie Murphy's 'Party All The Time' is the song for the job. Not only is it the most fun sing-along bop 1985 had to offer, but it also brings me back to my '80s-baby happy place. Vecna wouldn't stand a chance." β€” Jada Gomez, Executive Editor, Entertainment and Style

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"Mr. Brightside" by The Killers

"There's a reason 'Mr. Brightside' by The Killers has spent a record-breaking six years at the top of the UK's Singles Chart (yes, even 19 years after it was released). I'd like to think it's because I play it on loop every few weeks β€” one listen is never enough β€” but I don't live in the UK, so I highly doubt it. Still, this is the song that immediately gets me bouncing in my seat and transforms me from a casual listener to a carbon copy of Brandon Flowers dripping in glitter and resentment as he belts out one of the most iconic jealousy anthems of our time." β€” Chanel Vargas, Assistant Editor, Trending and Viral Features

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"I'm Every Woman" by Whitney Houston

"For me, 'I'm Every Woman' sung by Whitney Houston would be my 'Vecna' song, not only for its iconic, upbeat rhythm but for its demonstration of women empowerment. With this classic gem, I'm likely to bust out dancing once the beat drops!" β€” Tasha Dowbachuk, Social Strategy Coordinator

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"September" by Earth, Wind & Fire

"My Vecna song is 'September' by Earth, Wind & Fire. This song is such a classic β€” I'm sure there are people who have been to too many weddings and are tired of it β€” but for me, it never fails to put me in an amazing mood. I can't help but dance and sing to it literally any time or place I hear it, even if it's inappropriate β€” and not just the chorus, but also the 'ba-du' part. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't smile to this song. Other than the movie 'The Parent Trap,' this song isn't tied to any personal memories of mine, and it doesn't hold any real emotional special significance for me, other than that it's a bop. Fall is my favorite season, too, so maybe there's something there? Either way, I think this would definitely help pull me out of the Upside Down." β€” Lauren Mazzo, Senior Fitness Editor

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"Sweetness" by Jimmy Eat World

"My Vecna song is absolutely 'Sweetness' by Jimmy Eat World. No matter what mood I'm in, if I hear those opening notes and Jim Adkins tempt me with, 'If you're listening, sing it back,' I'm not only listening and whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-ohing back, but scream-singing the rest of the lyrics at the top of my lungs, too. It's a timeless track and the perfect shower bop, karaoke song, summer anthem, etc. It would 100 percent pump me up to run from Vecna's upside-down land of doom and back into reality." β€” Alessia Santoro, Senior SEO Editor

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"Live Well" by Palace

If this song has no fans, then I am no longer on Earth. The lyrics feel so sweet to me β€” it's perfectly nostalgic. Described by the band's frontman as 'a breakup song, but . . . positive.' Inject it straight into my veins." β€” Chandler Plante, Assistant Editor, Trending and Viral Features

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"As" by Stevie Wonder

"My Vecna song also happens to be one of the best songs of all time, in my humble opinion. Stevie Wonder's stage name is fitting β€” he is a wunderkind β€” and over the course of his prolific career, he's created a vast collection of brilliant songs, from lyrics to instrumentation. But no song has resonated with me more than 'As.' It reads like a poem, capturing the mystifying and all-encompassing nature of love. The breakdown will not only snap me out of a trance β€” it will get everyone on the dance floor, from my father to my 2-year-old niece!" β€” Jessica Andrews, Fashion Director

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"Ding Dong" by Katya Feat. Trixie Mattel

"I nominate 'Ding Dong!' by Katya. 1) Try putting it on and NOT dancing, I dare you. 2) The song is so (intentionally) trashy and stupid, it makes me laugh every time I listen to it." β€” Beau Brink, Senior SEO Manager