If you’re a human being with eyeballs and a Netflix subscription, chances are you’ve already binged the retro sci-fi series Stranger Things (and if you haven’t, WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING WITH YOUR LIFE???). Along with its heavy-handed doses of horror and ’80s nostalgia, one of the most affecting parts of the show is its icy synth score, which sets the perfect tone for all the spine-chilling mystery ahead.
Since music is such a vital component to Stranger Things’ magic, we’ve decided to take a closer look at the cast’s offscreen musical projects. Can you guess which character is a real-life Broadway star with a sky-grazing falsetto? Or which one emerged from the U.K. underground scene in a noise-rock band? Read ahead to find out:
Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven)
Shocking revelation No. 1: She’s British! Shocking revelation No. 2: She can sing! The 12-year-old actress has been sharing no-frills YouTube covers for about a year now, the latest of which finds her singing Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good.” Sure, it’s a pretty mature song choice for a preteen, but don’t tell her that, in case you want her to snap your arm or furiously flip a van over.
Joe Keery (Steve Harrington)
Reformed douche Steve actually seems like a pretty cool dude IRL, if his musical side project is any indication. When he’s not distracting us with his poofy head of hair, the actor is the drummer for Chicago psych-rock outfit Post Animal. The band’s been churning out several new songs this year, including the very Tame Impala–ish one above. Groovy, yes?
Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler)
The 13-year-old actor swapped his love for the ’80s with some ’90s-style grunge when he tweeted a short video of himself covering Nirvana’s “Lithium.” Those guitar skills coupled with some Eggo waffles would totally help him win over any girl, IMHO (Eleven + Mike 4ever!).
Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers)
Heaton — who plays Will’s older bro/occasional woods-lurking paparazzo — has a rock star history his Clash-loving character would admire. The actor (who’s also British!), used to drum in a noise rock band called Comanechi (side note: what are the chances Nancy Wheeler’s two admirers would both be offscreen drummers?!). Unfortunately, it appears Comanechi has disbanded, but we’ll always have YouTube videos like the one above as proof of Heaton’s musical mastery.
Gaten Matazazzo (Dustin Henderson)
In the example most likely to knock you straight out of your chair, lispy kid/compass master Dustin is an IRL Broadway star. The 13-year-old starred as Gavroche in Les Misérables on Broadway, and in the above video, he’s performing the musical’s notoriously difficult and depressing “Bring Him Home” (at what looks like a child’s birthday party, no less). Warning: Watching it will probably send you into a deep but incredible well of his other YouTube videos, which include National Anthem performances and duets way too mature for his age.
Chester Rushing (Tommy H.)
When he’s not beating up his supposed BFF Steve and hooking up with the equally awful Carol, Tommy is also a real-life rock star. The actor is the frontman of Chester Rushing Band, an alt-rock outfit based out of Dallas that released their debut project, Halfway Across the Stars, last year. He also does a pretty hilarious Enrique Iglesias impression that’s worth the watch.
Honorable mention: Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers) and Matthew Modine (Dr. Martin Brenner)
In a piece of trivia your parents will probably swoon over, Ryder and Modine once costarred in Roy Orbison’s 1989 video for “A Love So Beautiful.” That’s a full 27 years before she had to haul her brave butt to the “Upside Down” to rescue poor Will, all because Dr. Brenner couldn’t keep that damn monster under control. A love so beautiful, my ass.