Spooky Track Series 6: Shadowplay Uses You

Joy Division is one of those bands that I could choose many songs for spooky track series 6. But, the one that fits my bill the most is Shadowplay. From the opening bass riff, to the haunting smattering of the drums, this song oozes atmosphere. And let me tell you, that atmosphere is one of pain, fear, and isolation. The whole affair is very lo-fi, which really helps to bring about the creepiness factor in this song. It’s that bass that really does it. It drives the song, aurally assaulting the listener, creating stress and unease.

The image shows the cover to Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures, which has the spooky track series 6 song Shadowplay on it.

When the vocals enter, things go to a whole new level. Ian Curtis‘s lyrics are byzantine and nearly impenetrable, offering up impressions with some vivid images. We have a man in search of something, or at least one who’s waiting for someone. He goes to the center of the city and the bottom of the ocean where all hopes sank. And if that isn’t a harrowing line, I don’t know what is. In a single line, we know that there is death and pain in this song, as well as confusion, so much confusion.

But wait, this spooky track series 6 gets even shadier and creepier:

In the shadowplay, acting out your own death, knowing no more,
As the assassins all grouped in four lines, dancing on the floor,
And with cold steel, odor on their bodies made a move to connect,
But I could only stare in disbelief as the crowds all left.

What does the above mean? I don’t know, but it’s got death, assassins, and cold steel. Whatever it means, it’s not describing anything happy or hopeful.

To conclude, the whole ambiance of this spooky track series 6 is one of oppression, danger, and fear. What do you think?

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