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November 6, 2017

Do Me a Solid -- Creepy Song Arrange


Boy, this is gonna be an unreasonable request.  But if past Christmases have taught me anything, it’s that I’m pretty good at making demands and expecting a big payoff from, you know, normal people.  No wonder I only got clothes that one time.

Also, alternative post title: I Should Have Thought of This While it Was Still Halloween, But I Guess This is Okay Too Since I Did a Super Mario Odyssey Post

Wait, would that fit into the Blogger dashboard’s title page?  I don’t know.  I’ve never exactly pushed the limits on the character count.  For titles, at least…


All right.  If you’ve followed me and/or my wares for…I don’t know, the better part of a half-decade…then you may know that I’ve been giving the “Become a legitimate, full-fledged novelist!” thing a shot.  I’m making progress on that front, and I’ll go into that at a later date once I’ve crossed a certain goalpost.  Hopefully I’ll be able to pull the trigger soon and shoot for my dreams.  Or something like that.

In any case, I should talk a bit about my process -- such as it is.  I guess the key elements can be pared down to three points: hunker down in front of my PC, hope that my dogs stay asleep while I write, and -- crucially -- have the right music and/or soundtrack on tap.  I'm pretty sure that that last part doesn’t make me unique from anyone, writer or otherwise, but you can probably guess why it matters to me.  You’ve got to get into the right mood somehow.  You’ve got to feel it.  You’ve got to be in the zone.  What better way to make that happen than with music, in the absence of any reality-breaching technologies that build your fantasies around you?


I have files stocked up with various links to YouTube videos -- or rather, tracks on YouTube.  It’s pretty handy to have a variable playlist on tap, as you can imagine.  The problem is that as a writer (sure, let’s go with that), I can be pretty persnickety about what music I need to have going in my ears.  For obvious reasons, it can’t have any lyrics.  Beyond that?  Sometimes I need soft, subtle tracks, and sometimes I need louder, more potent tracks.  Small difference on the surface, I know, but it matters.  It’s harder to get into the mood if the song playing on loop isn’t juuuuuuuuuuuust riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Lately, though?  Like an expectant mother rooted in front of the fridge, I’ve had cravings for something specific.  See, some of the characters I’ve got in mind -- for this thing and well beyond it -- aren’t exactly peachy-keen.  Not only are they villains; they’re wrong villains.  Like, you can tell immediately that there’s something off-kilter about them -- and whether those differences are minor or major, their mere existence tells you two things.  One: you shouldn’t exist.  And two: run.


That’s kind of an awkward way to put it, least of all because theory and execution are two very different aspects of the creative process.  So let me rephrase this whole point of discussion.  I’m starting to develop a taste for creepy, spooky, unsettling, downright wrong music -- tracks that sound like the subject matter is a sin against nature.  Be it loud and bone-rattling or muted and soul-shearing, I’m now on a hunt to find music that could, in the right circumstances, give someone nightmares.

So that’s where you guys come in, if you’re up to the challenge.  I don’t expect anyone to offer up a cornucopia of chilling cacophonies (and in anticipation of that, I have an alternative I’ll explain in a bit), but hey.  I might as well put out an APB while it’s fresh on my mind, eh?  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to point me in the direction of any songs that can scare me, unsettle me, break me, or anything in between.  Let me hear the depths of horror and madness, even if it’s plucked straight from the mixtape of the Deep Ones.

Here are some examples to get you started.

Duelist’s Secret Feelings (Yu-Gi-Oh ARC-V)

Okay, first of all I just love the juxtaposition of a cheery, colorful adventure on the CD cover and the menace of this track.  (Then again, that’s ARC-V for you -- but that’s a topic for another day.) 

Also, I love this track in general.  I’ve had this one going for minutes, and possibly hours, on end while the hero and the main baddie first meet face to face.  I needed a track that’s unsettling and capable of casting a villain in a psychotic light -- and naturally, this song provides.  Maybe that’s partly because I have the proper context for when this song shows up in the show, but my story’s circumstances are a bit different.  Still, it’s a good song to help visualize the sanity leaking out of someone’s ear.

Side note, though: Crunchyroll, y u no upload rest of ARC-VGuts Yuya can’t stay on the boat forever.

Speed Daemon (Kamen Rider Ex-Aid)

You didn’t think that I’d let this post end without a mention of Kamen Rider, did you?

It’s been fresh on my mind -- well, more than usual -- since I just finished up Ex-Aid.  There is much to discuss about it, but for now I’ll say that some of the music, while video game-themed as per the season’s aesthetic, definitely does its job.  Case in point: this is the theme song of one of the villains once he gains the ability to henshin.  In-context, it’s plenty fitting; said villain is a computer virus given life and flesh with an earnest desire to wipe out humanity…with a smile, no less.  Out of context?  It sounds like the gates of Hell have opened up via a Pac-Man cabinet.  It’s a wrong-sounding track in a soundtrack that’s not exactly wanting for them -- but for sure, this is a standout.

KILL A (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle)

So here’s the thing about me and JoJo: I got most of my early exposure to the franchise via All-Star Battle, so I knew about the character this theme belonged to years before the anime popped up.  Time will tell if I made a huge mistake here -- I get the feeling I shouldn’t know about Tusk and what it can do -- but for now I’m glad I took the plunge, if only to hear this incredible theme.

Remember how I mentioned the villains I had in mind?  And how wrong they are (or should be)?  If they ever come to fruition and in an ideal form, it’ll be because of this song.  This song is wrong -- but it’s overflowing with power, and a willingness to assert its perversion of reality.  An uncanny, unstoppable menace is coming your way, and no matter what you throw at it, you can’t stop it.  But don’t worry.  It just wants to give you a nice little hug.

Freedom and Security (Persona 5)

Remember, kids: it’s not a spoiler if you don’t have the proper context.

To be fair, there’s always the possibility that I’m associating this song with horror and nightmares because of the dungeon it appears in (and to be sure, it’s a doozy).  On the other hand?  Even if it doesn’t have the gleeful bombast of “KILL A”, it compensates by being just shifted enough in a bad direction to leave you off-balance.  Uneasy.  Even if the instruments used to comprise it are -- or have the potential to be -- light and smooth, “Freedom and Security” has an oppressive air about it.  Sorrowful, as well, but by the time you pick up on that your soul will already be broken.

Majora’s Theme (The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask)

Those eyes are gonna creep me out until I’m in the grave.  Maybe past that.

One YouTube commenter described this song as “sinister as fuck”, and I’m inclined to agree.  Even though this game is almost 20 years old, there are still mysteries surrounding the mask and its origin -- along with the full extent of its capabilities.  We’re probably better off not knowing so we can preserve the potency; this song helps capture the unearthly threat of the unknown, with a chaotic element to boot.  The Nintendo crew knew it too, which would explain why there are alternate versions for each section of Termina.  The only way this song could get any creepier is if there was an orchestral remix.

Wait…wait…wait…shit.


Now, if you’ve been following along, you may have noticed a gap here.  There are other songs I could name and imbed, but you probably get the idea by now.  The issue is that my areas of expertise are starkly limited.  I know that there are some amazing, terrifying tracks from movies, but the cinematic world is well out of my wheelhouse.  Same goes for TV shows.  Same goes for…well, a lot of things, really.  There are many stories and many media entries I’ve never even touched, so I’m assuming -- rightly -- that others can fill in the gaps for me.

So, the mission is clear, then.  If you’ve got what it takes, then let me (literally) hear it: point me in the direction of the spookiest, scariest, unnerving, unnatural, courage-reducing, nightmare-inducing songs you can think of.  And/or the spoopiest.  I don’t care what the source is.  I don’t care what the origin is.  I don’t care what the genre is.  All I ask is -- if possible -- give me songs that don’t have lyrics.  After that, everything is fair game.

And by everything, I mean everything.  That’s because there’s a corollary to this request: recommend some (or any) of the best tracks or soundtracks you can think of.


Once more, songs without lyrics are much-preferred; it’s hard to focus on writing my words when the words of others are interfering.  But again, after that requirement you can toss up anything that either sets your heart aflutter (or ablaze), or anything that you think will help me.  In that sense, I don’t just want creepy tracks.  So for example, if you want to say “Yo, Voltech!  Stop being an idiot and just use the Chrono Trigger OST!” you can.  I wouldn’t mind that at all.

I mean granted I’ve already used the Chrono Trigger OST a fair bit, but you get the idea.  Blow my mind with whatever you’ve got.  Not in the literal sense, of course.


God, I love that movie.

Thanks for reading -- and thanks in advance to anyone who comments with music to share.  You’re the real heroes today.

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