The iconic composer Danny Elfman has signed to ANTI-/Epitaph Records for the release of his first new solo music in 36 years. The new song is called “Happy” and it arrives with an unsettling new video directed by Aron Johnson. Watch it below.
“I originally wrote ‘Happy’ to perform at Coachella 2020,” Elfman said in a statement. “It was written to be an absurd anti-pop song, designed to begin as a very simple pop tune that degrades into something more subversive. The cynical nature of the lyrics echo how I feel about living in a semi-dystopian world turned upside down.”
The song arrives just in time for Halloween, which Elfman explains “has always been (his) Big Night.” He noted that his band Oingo Boingo used to throw Halloween shows and noted his role as the singing voice of Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas:
I always enjoyed Halloween because it was a night to let loose, to become something or someone else. It’s a night to celebrate the dead, and ghosts and monsters of all variety. A night for mutants, zombies, vampires, misfits, and miscreants to celebrate themselves and each other. And, aligned with the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, a night to celebrate departed spirits… and for me, a night to laugh in death’s face (and feel safe doing so).
Elfman is joined on “Happy” by drummer Josh Freese (of the Vandals and Nine Inch Nails), guitarist Nili Brosh (of Dethklok), and bassist Stu Brooks (of Dub Trio). Randall Dunn provided additional synth design.
Read about Elfman’s work in Pitchfork’s list of “The 50 Best Movie Scores of All Time.”