20 Fave Songs from The OC

Updated by Shannon Thomas on December 20, 2020

20 Fave Songs from The OC

The opening piano strains of Phantom Planet’s song “California” mean just one thing to me: the beauty and the glory of an episode of The OC is about the begin. From 2003 to 2007, the public was graced with four complicated, privileged and dramatic high school students from sunny Orange County. Ryan Atwood, Seth Cohen, Marissa Cooper and Summer Roberts were the troubled, cool kids of Newport that we all wanted to be, or at least had a wall of posters covered with their faces. Now eight years after we have said goodbye to our favorite melodrama, we can celebrate the second best thing about the show: the music!

The OC was known for bringing the best indie bands to our televisions each week. Whether Seth was a fan of a cool new band, a moody cover song was setting the tone for Ryan to brood around the beach or the gang was catching a gig at the Bait Shop, the soundtrack was unparalleled. So, let’s party like its Chrismukkah and have a beach party with the songs that helped shape some of the best teen soap television ever. Thanks to Allegra Rosenberg for creating the album cover for this playlist.

20. Coldplay - “Fix You”

19. Rachael Yamagata - “Reason Why”

18. The Subways - “Oh Yeah”

17. Modest Mouse - “The World At Large”

16. Beck - “Black Tambourine”

15. The Dandy Warhols - “We Used to Be Friends”

14. The Killers - “Smile Like You Mean It”

13. The Walkman - “Little House of Savages”

12. Beastie Boys - “Ch-Check It Out”

11. Phantom Planet - “California”

10. Super Furry Animals - “Hello Sunshine”

9. Finley Quaye - “Dice”

8. Placebo - “Running Up That Hill”

7. Interpol - “Specialist”

6. Nada Surf - “If You Leave”

5. Matt Pond PA - “Champagne Supernova”

4. Rooney - “I’m Shakin’”

3. Death Cab for Cutie - “The Sound of Settling”

2. Imogen Heap - “Hide and Seek”

1. Leonard Cohen - “Hallelujah”