Somehow, one of the most notable things that came out of the first volume of Stranger Things: Season 4 was a song written by Kate Bush in 1985. “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” smashed the charts after being featured in the series as the song that pulled Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) out of Vecna’s grip and outside of the Upside Down. Honestly, without Kate Bush, Max would still be flailing around down there.
In that same light, we’ve gathered up some of the ONE37pm staff to explain their picks for the songs that would bring them out of the Upside Down.
Anyone familiar with me knows that I consider A Tribe Called Quest to be the greatest hip-hop group of all time. It only makes sense that a song of theirs would be the one that pulls me out of the Upside Down and away from the clutches of Vecna (I’m not a fan of having my bones broken and eyes gouged out.)
“Can I Kick It?,” A Tribe Called Quest’s third single off of their debut album People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, begins with a sample from Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” and never lets up from there. Q-Tip and Phife Dawg trade bars from there on out, moving and grooving to the carefully curated beat. It’s the perfect song to shake you loose from Vecna’s grip and keep your body moving until it reaches our dimension once again.
–Conor Sheeran, Senior Popular Culture Editor
Listen, Vecna is a pretty big queen, but Lady Gaga is even bigger.
If there’s one person who could drag me out of the Upside Down, it’s most definitely going to be her. The very first sentence of “The Edge of Glory” is “there ain’t no reason you and me should be alone tonight,” and if I’m stuck in the Upside Down being ravaged by Demobats, stepping in unidentifiable gooey stuff, and having my limbs pulled every which way by some nasty vines, I’m going to take that sentence very literally.
Honestly, you could probably just throw on the saxophone solo alone and I’d be high-tailing it out of there.
–Elizabeth Pagano, Staff Writer, Popular Culture
If I wanted a song to get me out of the Upside Down instantaneously, it would absolutely be “I’m Shipping Up To Boston.” Loud, aggressive, and passionate, this song not only gets me fired up, but I feel completely invincible when it’s ringing through my ears. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the greater Boston area, but this song just speaks to me. If you want to get me away from the menacing Vecna and back to the real world, play this song as loud as you possibly can.
–Cole Keough, Editorial Intern
This song’s slow, mellow beginning lulls you into another world far from your own. It feels like cruising through the woods with your windows down without a care in the world, fully present in the moment. When you least expect it, a beautiful, distorted guitar solo enters the scene, and you know you’ve got a one-way ticket to an entirely new place. This song feels like it was born from another dimension, making it perfect for escaping the one you currently reside in.
–Ezra Fuller, Twitter Manager
What is it the poet said? You make me dance / bring me up / bring me down / play it sweat/ make me move like a freak / Mr. Saxobeat. Underneath its glossy Eurodance sheen, Romanian singer Alexandra Stan’s 2010 bop “Mr. Saxobeat” is really evidence of the kindness of art—for 195 seconds, there’s nothing beyond the visceral, immediate thrill of being. Tellingly, the titular Mr. Saxobeat isn’t even given a real name—he’s only important in so far as what he makes us feel (i.e. like a freak). Amongst infinite uncertainty and discord, Stan clears—or maybe selects—a space where the only question is whether it’s better to be in love or in paradise. Here is a pastiche of fragile joys, a flight towards grace. Mr. Saxobeat dances us to deliverance.
–Jack Tien-Dana, Staff Writer, Sports
If I had to choose one song to escape the Upside Down, it would undoubtedly have to be the 1960 Country Ballad classic “Big Iron” by Marty Robbins. I first heard this song while exploring the dystopian backdrop of Fallout: New Vegas. The song details the inevitable battle between a town’s sheriff and an outlaw known for having the fastest big iron on his hip. As they finally battle at the song’s climax and the townspeople are certain the outlaw will win, our sheriff emerges victorious. I can’t think of a better backdrop to escape the Upside Down than an epic underdog story between two of the fastest guns in the West.
–Justin Cohen, Sports Writer