Love Will Tear Us Apart

Depressing, but on point. The depressing aspect of it is quite overwhelming; it’s a song written and sung by a man who would commit suicide less than a year later. Thus cementing Joy Division as truly and authentically the saddest sad-sacks in the already mopey currents of New Wave. The sense of melancholy and despair was no pose, and the message not an encouraging one. The title and lyrics were a morbid joke, a take on Captain & Tennille’s unbearably chirpy Love Will Keep Us Together. For anyone who’s learned that love does no such thing, the relentless preponderance of sappy love songs is a nauseating insult to lived experience. Although there’s definitely an unhealthy aspect about relating too strongly to art produced by someone who suffered from and succumbed to suicidal depression, there’s is also a relief of recognition in hearing what Ian Curtis understood love to do to you. Joy Division’s small output has shown lasting power and continued relevance exactly because of that appeal. Because no good times go unpunished and love affairs are something we sign up for knowing that we’ll come out of them not better but more damaged.


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