Dark science fiction and the supernatural are the backdrops of Netflix's Stranger Things but Ingrid Michaelson's rendering of its narrative arcs is dreamy and sweet.
Born of her genuine fandom, each track of Stranger Songs, Michaelson's ninth album, calls influence from the characters on the show, hedging episode-specific references among lyrics that pour out like diary entries. Michaelson shed her signature folksy style for a glossy synth-pop that's befitting of her muses. She molds the sound to suit her as well as the show, but the true triumph is how the songs take on a life of their own: The blossoming romances that wrap up the second season from the backbone of the buoyant single "Young and in Love," which at once embodies the rite of passage that is starry-eyed adoration and the '80s, when the show is set. Universal in its nostalgia-fueled distillations of relationships and coming-of-age angst, the album is a treat for Stranger Things superfans and the uninitiated.