All the Sung and Signed Songs From the ‘Deaf U’ Soundtrack

Josh St. Clair
·4 mins read
Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

From Men's Health

It's not until one of the final episodes of Netflix’s Deaf U that we see music performed in sign language. In episode 7, Cheyenna, one of the primary Gallaudet University students the series follows, appears on stage as a music “interpreter.” Off stage, she discuses the challenges of imitating things like pitch and voice fluctuation. She must then translate these features though attitude and non-sign gestures, making the interpretation as much a performance as the vocals.

Music culture doesn’t end at the boundaries of hearing, and throughout Deaf U’s first season we see every character either dancing, going to clubs, or signing lyrics. (Though some students aren’t able to hear the music, they do talk about feeling the vibrations.)

To best represent the students’ club/party culture, Netflix chose a poppy soundtrack. While the music captures the free-wheeling spirit of Gallaudet’s social scene, and we wish some episodes (or at least some scenes) stayed closer to the students’ own sense experiences, if only to bring us closer to their world.

For an example of what this might have looked like, think of the club scene from Babel when Chieko navigates Tokyo’s nightlife. The entire narrative here is seen (it is visual), and it plays out through the oscillation of club noise and total silence, as we move back and forth between Chieko (who is completely deaf) and the other club goers. No other movie scene in recent memory has made us feel so much like an outsider.

We’re not saying Deaf U had to get all cinematic, but there was a chance for audio/visual storytelling that seems missed. (Hey, maybe in season 2?)

Still, the song list includes some real bangers—and by lesser known artists. While we couldn't find all the tracks, here are the ones you can listen to right now. Check them out and feel the vibrations.

Episode 1

"Unleash the Best" by Richard Macklin

"Brand New" by Naomi August

"Shuffle Back Shuffle" by Angela Penhaligon

"Whatever" by Stuart Winters, Roscoe Williamson, and Tiger Gates

"Good Times" by Nicholas Kingsley

"I Won't Lie for You" by Emerson Ware

"Rugrat" by Nicholas Patrick Kingsley and Malory Torr

"Stay With Me Tonight" by Maiko

"Vampires" by The Midi Mafia

"I'm Still a Fighter" by Sam Shrieve

"Breaking All the Rules" by Jonathan Dix, Stephen Collins, and Beck Goldsmith

"It Should Be Easy" by Brocklesby Crooke

"What Happened to You" by Dirk Pate

Episode 2

"Just Like Mama Said" by Photronique

"When I Make History" by Hunnit and Makio

"Tru Love" by Ships and Joshua Mitchell

"Never Let You Down" by Wolfgang Black

"Keep Surviving" by Sergio Ruelas, Chester Lang, and Cody Cloe

"Hell Yea" by Lauren Evans and Dina Rae

Episode 3

"Girls Are Gonna Save the World" by The Kinnardlys

"This Empty Heart" by Thomas Bromley

"I Think We Started Something" by Photronique

"Like Dominos" by Rogue Notes

"Let's Just Get Away" by Nick Jordan

"You're Lost and We're Found" by Simon Brown

Episode 4

"Caterpillars Can't Dance" by Huber Gregor

"On the Other Side" by BB St. Clair

"All We Need Is Love" by Wolfgang Black

"Do You Feel Ready" by Bamyasi

"Delicate" by Rupert Pope

Episode 5

"Killer Cutoffs" by Malory Torr

"Porcupine" by Malory Torr

"Coming Undone" by Simon Diamond and Margot Maxine

"Crazy for You" by John Coggins

"Own the Night" by Photronique

Episode 6

"Love" by Robin Loxley

"Hallow Without You" by A. Void and James McLean

"Hold" by Beds and Beats

"Be a Hero" by Alex Nova, Oliver Price, and Belle Sara Humble

"Feel No Pain" by Rupert Pope and Giles Palmer

Episode 7

"Whirly Curly" by David O'Dowda

"Paralysed" by George Byrne

"Gimme That Good Buzz" by Simon Diamond and Margo Maxine

"Pandora's Box" by Lee Richardson, Tom Ford, and Jonathan Murrill

"Might Never Know" by Naomi August

Episode 8

"Cold Vibrations" by Malory Torr

"Push It to the Edge" by Kaci Brown

"Barriers" by Robin Loxley ad Wolfgang Black

"Freighters" by Ships and Simon Brown

"Forest of My Mind" by Ships, Mickey Mikkelson, and Louise Udin

"Birds of Paradise" by John Winckel and Georgina Winckel

"Rapture" by Malory Torr

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