HSMTMTS premiered this past Wednesday, and everyone is beyond excited. To celebrate, YEM has created a playlist of artists in the series and similar independent musicians.
We couldn’t call it a HSMTMTS playlist without Olivia Rodrigo. “deja vu” starts off slow and sad, then steadily builds momentum, with an undercurrent of anger that fans can’t help but sympathize with. Speaking of heartbreak anthems, it turns out Joshua Bassett’s got a few up his sleeve, too. “Doppelgänger” is Bassett’s latest single, released last February. It’s a touching acoustic number; the guitar, Bassett’s vocals, and background harmonies supply a musical simplicity that works in his favor.
“Emma,” by Andrew Barth Feldman, is so sweet it’ll have people lining up to change their name. Feldman joined the HSMTMTS cast during its sophomore season as the flirty foreign exchange student, Antoine. He’s no rookie when it comes to music, either – from 2019 to 2020, he played the titular role in the Broadway smash hit, Dear Evan Hansen. His clear vocal talent shines in this song just as much as it did onstage.
Equally as endearing is Adrian Lyles with “Hold My Hand.” Lyles is a HSMTMTS newcomer, having joined the cast in this latest season. He’s been an independent musician since age thirteen, and definitely knows his way around a piano. On the melancholy side of things is Allegra Miles. “Tainted” was released independently last March; fans of “drivers license” will love Miles’s vulnerability, her unwillingness to shy away from heartbreak. Her rawness is difficult to turn away from, and her vocals will compel you to listen till the end.
“Still in Love with Me” is a breathy single with a charming backstory. Performed by MARG and written by Elle Mills, it’s a recreation of a song Mills wrote at thirteen. It was released independently in 2020. “saw ur mom at the grocery store” is another song by an independent artist: Abby Cates. Released just last year, Cates’s lyrics are ultra-specific, but still super relatable. It’s got over a million Spotify listens, and her amazing vocals make it easy to see why.
Next up is an independent musician and a Disney channel star: Meg Donnelly. Fans might recognize her as Addison from the recently concluded Z-O-M-B-I-E-S trilogy. Luckily, that won’t be the last viewers see of her: she’ll be starring in HSMTMTS’ latest season! Her song, “Predictable,” shamelessly calls out her ex. Though breakup anthems are always fun, this playlist doesn’t skimp on the wholesomeness. “German Boy,” by independent musician Tippy Balady, conjures up feelings of easy summer love. It’s whimsical and romantic, with mellow vocals to match.
Asher Angel’s “Chills” was released two years ago, as a single. Angel was a guest star in season two of HSMTMTS and played Jack in Disney channel’s “Andie Mack.” Laid-back and (unsurprisingly) chill, Angel’s vocals and the song’s lo-fi beats make for an all-around smooth, satisfying listen. It’s not just the kids that make music: Derek Hough, who plays Zack, is super talented. Not only is he an accomplished dancer, but he’s got some solid songs under his belt as well. “Say It Now” calls for gratitude in everyday life. Uplifting, encouraging lyrics like “Don’t bury your heart in the ground/just say it now” encourage listeners to live every day like it’s their last.
“Too Specific” is an energetic track that immediately takes off. Released by Roman Banks, who played Howie in season two, this song explores relationship anxiety. Despite its subject matter, “Too Specific” is persistent in its liveliness, complete with dreamy vocals that never miss a beat. “Nothing Left To Lose,” by independent artist Katie Lynne Sharbaugh, has a similar vibe. It’s an exasperated song about falling back in love against one’s better judgment, with lowkey, easygoing beats.
“The Mirror” was released in 2019 by Ruby Rose Turner, another Disney star. She played Cami in the series Coop & Cami Ask the World, from 2018 to 2020. It’s bright and poppy, with a great message of self-confidence. Wrapping up the playlist is another cheery song: “She’s In My Head.” Gunner Gehl is an independent artist, with music that Beliebers will love.