Illustration by Ben Beechener
Music plays an integral role in the production of any good TV programme — Love Island is no exception. From building tension at a classic firepit re-coupling, to hyping up the Islanders for the infamous ‘Heart Rate’ challenge, music is always ready to sweep in and set the tone.
As Season 7 has come to a close, it’s a relatively well known fact that the individuals that partake in the show hugely benefit from the publicity that Love Island brings. After leaving the villa, islanders are bombarded with business deals, guest spots, fame, and fashion collaborations. However, it is not only those on screen that benefit. Love Island, described by many as a ‘tastemaker’, has the potential to give a platform to new artists, respond to popular music trends, as well as allow artists signed to major record labels to promote new music releases.
A prime example of this is Olivia Roderigo’s new album ‘Sour’, where 6 of the 11 tracks on her debut album have been featured on the show across the span of this season. Moreover, using songs such as ‘Can’t Stop (Oh No)’ by Papa Zeus (recently featured in popular TikTok trends providing a sound-track to epic fail style videos) plays on viewer association between specific songs and certain experiences, helping to foreshadow the outcome of some key moments in the show. Whilst both of these examples allude to already well-known and well-circulated music, there are also a fair share of new, up-and-coming artists that have provided a backdrop to the dramatic ups and downs.
Therefore, here are my seven new artists for seven seasons of Love Island!
Favourite Featured Song: Hurts Like Hell
Although Fleurie isn’t necessarily a household name, the Love Island producers have often used her songs in previous seasons in order to contribute to the emotional elements of the show such as break-ups or upsetting arguments. With hard hitting lyrics in ‘Hurts Like Hell’ like “how can I put it down into words? When it’s almost too much for my soul alone”, her distinctive yet almost eerie voice and unique sound make her indispensable in this list.
Favourite Featured Song: There Will Be a Way
This Dutch singer-songwriter took centre stage at an emotional peak in the show this year when Faye and Teddy broke up as a result of events that took place in Casa Amor (even though they then got back together and seem to be incredibly happy now in the outside world). The emotional intensity of the music really sets the tone as Faye walks away and they both look for comfort and support in their respective friends.
Favourite Featured Song: Forgive or Forget
Exploring the experience of struggling to move on post-relationship, Sarah Close’s lyricism creates a relatable narrative about the need to be on the same page in a limbo between choosing to stay or go. “I know I’m willing to change, tell me do you feel the same?” plays a central role in the chorus, honing in on the uncertainty around big relationship decisions and the importance of being on the same page. Moreover, the single was only released in February of 2021, demonstrating Love Island’s ability to platform incredibly talented emerging artists.
Favourite Featured Song: I Like Your Face
This upbeat pop song creates the perfect summer backdrop, on top of effectively contributing to the villa’s party vibes. People are even commenting on the song on YouTube, saying “Love Island got this on everyone’s radar. She deserves to be heard”. If you want to close your eyes and imagine you’re at a beach party, cocktail in hand, especially in times like these where opportunities for a dreamy holiday abroad are few and far between, this is the song for you.
Favourite Featured Song: Fighter
We all remember the jaw dropping moment at one of the most dramatic recouplings of this season when Toby chose Abi and left his existing couple with Chloe, leading Hugo to forge a friendship couple with Chloe and Georgia to be dumped from the Island. The song that added to the fiery intensity of the moment? Fighter by Royal Deluxe. With distorted vocals and heavy bass, Fighter earned its spot on this list due to its ability to create sheer dramatic effect during such a significant moment on the show.
Favourite featured Song: Nothing Ever Changes
With cutting lyrics and a moving piano accompaniment, Sody hits the nail on the head with an exploration of the frustrations regarding repetitive nature of bad habits in relationships. A great song if you just want to cry in the shower (or at least that’s what I’ve heard).
Favourite featured Song: Brutal
Despite Olivia Roderigo rising quickly to fame, following her incredibly successful debut album Sour, her iconic song ‘Brutal’ has made it to this list due to its significant contribution to Season 7 of Love Island. We all remember the controversial moment when the Love Island producers decided to send the girls in the villa an incredibly traumatic postcard, entitled “Wish you were here”, earning the show nearly 5,000 Ofcom complaints. Starting with an instrumental acoustic guitar version of the song as Chloe discovers the postcard, the song gradually builds to a climax with angsty electric guitars and heavy drums as the rest of the girls see the postcard, all perfectly summarised with the Olivia Roderigo lyric “It’s brutal out here”.
To check out some more great new music, as well as some classics that have featured throughout Season 7 of Love Island, make sure to check out my Spotify Playlist ‘Best of Love Island 2021’.