The soundtrack for Netflix’s See You Yesterday vibes with the multicultural Brooklyn setting. Directed by Spike Lee protege Stefon Bristol, the science fiction time travel film contrasts the supernatural aspects with a score that’s correlated to the human spirit. Young characters travel back in time but remain cognizant of where they came from, and why it matters.
In See You Yesterday, Claudette "CJ" Walker (Eden Duncan-Smith) and Sebastian J. Thomas (Dante Crichlow) develop their own time machine. To begin, they merely want to change the world and have fun. But a tragic event changes their perspectives and motivations.
As a whole, See You Yesterday’s soundtrack doesn’t necessarily hype a climactic moment or even a pivotal moment for the young protagonists. Instead, the five featured songs underline the lively nature of the New York City setting, a location that both challenges and inspires the main characters to pursue their dreams. Below are the main songs featured in See You Yesterday.
"You Don't Love Me (No, No, No) (Extended Mix)” - Dawn Penn
"Hey Up There" - Buddy Ft. Ty Dolla $ign
"Oh Yay"- Olatunji Yearwood
"Ring the Alarm" - Tenor Saw
"New Babylon" - Reggae Revolution!
Early on, "You Don't Love Me (No, No, No) (Extended Mix)” plays over an establishing sequence that ends with the main characters watching their time travel prototype burn. Given the song’s upbeat tempo, it’s merely a signal that more work must be done, and that CJ and Sebastian will come to love their creation; it will treat them well.
Soon thereafter, CJ struggles with the aggressive nature of local men. A young adolescent named Eduardo makes passes at the young science enthusiast, but she’s more interested in time travel than romance. The moment is capped off by "Hey Up There,” of which plays over a montage that establishes the primary setting of East Flatbush in Brooklyn. There’s a transcendental production quality that correlates with CJ’s imaginative personality.
Shortly before See You Yesterday’s inciting incident, "Oh Yay” complements a neighborhood cookout sequence. The main characters have fun and embrace the moment. The lively sound underlines a sense of community - and just before a tragedy affects the neighborhood. Once CJ and Sebastian recover from the initial shock, they return to their time travel project and establish the scientific facts. Their garage preparation is scored by "Ring the Alarm,” a song that has a reggaeton aesthetic and essentially announces that the protagonists are about to take a major step forward.
In See You Yesterday, the last featured song connects to a moment that brings the young characters together. Earlier in the film, CJ rejects Eduardo’s romantic advances. Ultimately, she realizes that Eduardo is rather smart, and that his quantum circuit board is critical to her mission’s success. When Eduardo reveals his creation, "New Babylon” accompanies the moment. It’s another loose reggae song that helps set up the dramatic final act.