Halloween might have already come and gone this weekend, but some are still taking it upon themselves to celebrate spooky content. If you're among that group - and you want a new earworm at the same time - Danny Elfman has you covered. The legendary composer and former Oingo Boingo frontman recently debuted "Happy", his first solo single in over three decades. The song's debut was accompanied by a chilling music video, which features a fair share of body horror upon Elfman's digitally-manipulated face, as well as skeletons, doll heads, and other creepy ephemera.
The song itself also includes some slightly-macabre lyrics, which get more unsettling and resonant as the song goes along. As Elfman revealed in a statement (via Variety), the initial goal was to debut the song during his buzzed-about set at this year's Coachella music festival, before the event was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I originally wrote ‘Happy’ to perform at Coachella 2020,” Elfman revealed. “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.”
Still, having Elfman release the song during the spooky season is definitely fitting, especially considering his long-running history with the holiday.
“Halloween has always been my Big Night,” Elfman added. “As a child there was no competition. Coincidently, in my earlier band Oingo Boingo, our Halloween shows became special events and our biggest shows of the year. And double coincidently ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ also became a special live concert Halloween event, which became more successful than I’d ever dreamed possible. This really meant a lot to me as the character of Jack Skellington, who I related to quite closely, has for many years been a very special part of my life.”
"Happy" features Elfman on vocals, guitars, and synthesizers, with Josh Freese (Devo, Nine Inch Nails) on drums, Nili Brosh (Dethklok) on guitar, Stu Brooks (Dub Trio) on bass, and Randall Dunn on additional synths.
So, while Halloween might technically be over, at least we have "Happy" to join Elfman's equally-spooky work on the likes of The Nightmare Before Christmas and Beetlejuice.
“[The Nightmare Before Christmas is] obviously about Christmas, but for me, it’s a Halloween movie,” Elfman said in a 2019 interview. “Growing up, Halloween was my favorite night of the year and Christmas was a troublesome time. Into my adult years, it was a time where a bit of a dark cloud would follow me around -- probably carrying over from my childhood until I had my own kids -- and then I developed a new, brighter view of Christmas.”0comments
“I also felt very close to Jack Skellington’s plight because I knew what it was like to be the king of my own little world and to want out of that world and want something else,” he continued. “So I felt very close to the holiday of Halloween, but also very close to Jack and what he was going through.”
What do you think of Danny Elfman's newest solo single? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!