“Your Magic is Working” – Of Montreal
Do we think that the students at Hogwarts — especially those who grew up in Muggle households — would listen to songs about magic for the irony and snigger uncontrollably? Yes, yes we do.
“I Put a Spell On You” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Ditto. And also because we like to think Harry had at least the joy in his life that is Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. And maybe because he tried to get with some girls in his time, let’s not lie.
“One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces” – Ben Folds Five
Harry is a Ben Folds fan if we’ve ever seen one, and this song in particular would appeal to the dark, secret pride he must have had about being important. We all know Ron thought he was secretly full of himself. But Harry really did get beat up after class before he found out he was famous, so we would expect a little I-told-you-so vitriol. “Now I’m big and important / one angry dwarf and / 200 solemn faces are you / If you really want to see me / check your papers and your T.V. / Look who’s tellin’ who what to do.” That’s right, you tell ‘em. Voldemort is back.
“Banking on a Myth” – Andrew Bird
We think Harry would be into Andrew Bird’s delicate, looping melodies and half sorrowful, half hopeful lyrics. Plus, there’s the whole banking on a myth (or prophecy, as it were) anxiety.
“Hear You Me” – Jimmy Eat World
Again, Harry is a classic JEW fan. Slightly upset white male teenagers love this stuff. But this song is for the very sad Harry — after all, kid lost his parents and more than one friend before he turned 18. “So what would you think of me now / so lucky, so strong, so proud? I never said thank you for that / now I’ll never have a chance.” We’re tearing up right now.
“Cool Kids Keep” – The American Analog Set
For those many moments where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are pretty pleased with themselves.
“Don’t Let it Get You Down” – Spoon
Spoon is one of those bands it’s always cool to like. And Harry always needs some encouragement.
“Two-Headed Boy” – Neutral Milk Hotel
We may be going out on a limb here, but we really really hope that Harry would be cool enough to listen to Neutral Milk Hotel. We think he would be. Right? He’s cool. Harry’s a winner. Winners like Neutral Milk Hotel. We do know for sure that Harry felt like a two-headed boy sometimes, all floating in glass.
“Pictures of Me” – Elliott Smith
Not only because the pictures of him that are all over the papers are totally, like, moving, but also because the kid is always being misrepresented and attacked from all sides. Listen up, Colin Creevey, Harry’s pretty sick of having his picture taken, especially when it only ends in tears. Or petrification.
“Know Your Enemy” – Green Day
Battle music! Harry has had to gear up for a lot of tough fights in his day, and he’s been known to have a little bit of anger bottled up in that narrow chest of his. We bet he has a Green Day poster on his bedroom wall.
“Stuck Between Stations” – The Hold Steady
Harry would definitely appreciate The Hold Steady’s brawling, spitting bar rock — but he definitely wouldn’t have gotten into them until Boys and Girls in America. Also, there are some Platform 9 3/4 and other train incidents that seem relevant (we know Craig Finn is talking about the radio, but still).
“Devil Town” – Bright Eyes
Imagine one day waking up to realize that the world you knew was suddenly a dangerous wasteland, filled with monsters around every corner. Welcome to war with Voldemort, and/or Conor Oberst’s psyche.