Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein
Emmy winning Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, half of the Austin band S U R V I V E, traveled back in musical time to soundtrack the biggest pop culture phenomenon of 2016: the Netflix series Stranger Things. The duo’s dreamy, throwback score helped sell the nostalgic ode to when Carpenter and Spielberg were the tastemakers of the horror/fantasy genre. Series creators The Duffer Brothers fell in love with the band’s albums, which spin classic synths into a distinctly modern sound—and the resulting alchemy produced the most talked-about soundtrack of the year that garnered two Grammy nominations for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. Season Two, which they’ll return to score, is in production now.
Dixon and Stein, both Texas natives, were born in the early 1980s when the inspirations for Stranger Things were being made. They met as teenagers, and both eventually gravitated towards the analog, electronic tones of their childhoods. S U R V I V E has quickly exploded from being a hip Austin act to touring the U.S. and Europe, and the band recently released their second studio album, “RR7349.”
“Every synth has a magical power, if you want to call it that,” says Dixon. “You can basically create the sound you’re thinking of,” adds Stein, “or you can just goof around with it and come across something that inspires you. So it feeds you and you feed it and just have this interaction with the instrument. It’s like a nourishment.”