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Imagine Dragons’ “Enemy” from Arcane: A Two-Chord Wonder

Samuel Crossley

Arcane’s opening song, “Enemy” by Imagine Dragons featuring J.I.D, may not reach the same level as their iconic Worlds 2014 anthem, but it still surpasses most subsequent Worlds songs. With its catchy tune, it managed to captivate audiences and become a hit. Interestingly, this song is composed of only two chords, which is quite rare for a popular track. Let’s delve into how Imagine Dragons achieved this musical feat.

Breaking Down the Two-Chord Song

“Enemy” is set in the key of B minor, and throughout the song, Imagine Dragons utilizes only two chords: F# minor and G major 7. This minimalistic approach is uncommon in hit songs, as most typically incorporate at least four chords to maintain harmonic interest. However, there are a few notable exceptions like The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The USA,” and Bob Marley’s “Lively Up Yourself.”

The Musical Magic Behind “Enemy”

Despite its simplicity, “Enemy” manages to create a captivating sound through various rhythmic patterns and the clever use of minor 3rd intervals. The verse sets the stage with a descending melodic pattern, employing semiquavers and repeating notes that end on a minor 3rd. Each phrase alternates between the two chords, accompanied by rhyming words and alliteration.

The pre-chorus introduces a contrasting rhythm, slowing down the pace and building anticipation. The bass guitar becomes more prominent, and the lyrics are drawn out. The use of a major 3rd instead of a minor 3rd adds a dissonant element, creating an unsettling feeling.

The chorus is the pinnacle of “Enemy,” marked by synthesized bursts and another rhythmic shift. It features alliteration and a melodic progression that combines upward and downward patterns. The triumphant upward major 6th interval adds a sense of resolution, but the song never actually plays its root B minor chord, leaving listeners hanging.

After J.I.D’s rap, the chorus is repeated, leading to the outro. The outro incorporates elements from previous sections and returns to the use of minor 3rd phrases. The song concludes with a minor 2nd interval before circling back to the repeated phrase, “Look out for yourself!”

Arcane’s Opening Song: A Perfect Fit

As you watch Arcane and delve into its story, the lyrics of “Enemy” gain deeper meaning. The unresolved B minor key mirrors the show’s cliffhanger endings, leaving viewers wanting more. Despite its two-chord composition, Imagine Dragons skillfully distinguishes each section while maintaining unity through musical gestures and layered lyrics.

The tension and lack of resolution in “Enemy” parallel the characters’ experiences in Arcane, evoking feelings of unease and distress. This musical choice aligns with the show’s themes and keeps audiences engaged.


Imagine Dragons’ “Enemy” proves that a song can be captivating and successful even with just two chords. Through clever rhythmic patterns, minor 3rd intervals, and well-crafted lyrics, the band creates a memorable opening song for Arcane. Its unresolved nature reflects the show’s narrative, leaving viewers eagerly awaiting the next episode. Experience the magic of “Enemy” and immerse yourself in the world of Arcane on Netflix.

Time Score
November 7, 2021 Arcane Act 1 debuts
MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) 2021 Imagine Dragons and J.I.D perform “Enemy”



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Christopher Brown

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