Well, here’s an unexpected early Halloween treat for everyone. Composer/former Oingo Boingo member Danny Elfman has shared his first solo song in 36 years, the perfectly creepy “Happy”.
Out via Anti-/Epitaph, Elfman originally wrote the track with the intention of premiering it during his Coachella 2020 set. With that event canceled due to the pandemic, he instead got the chance to release it right before his favorite holiday, All Hallows’ Eve.
Elfman recorded with Nine Inch Nails drummer Josh Freese, Dethklok guitarist Nili Brosh, Dub Trio bassist Stu Brooks, and synth player Randall Dunn. Together, they make “Happy” a tense and madcap exercise that clearly could have only come from the mind of the guy behind The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Jack Skellington. “Eyes for an eye, eye for an eye/ Tickety-tackety, tickety-tackety/ Eye for an eye, Tooth for a tooth,” Elfman sings. “It’s never enough, but it’s never the truth/ Life is a treat so pretty and pink.”
“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,” Elfman said in a statement. “The cynical nature of the lyrics echo how I feel about living in a semi-dystopian world turned upside down.”
The maniacal “Happy” comes with a fittingly disturbing music video. Think the iPhone memojis but, ya know, even more terrifying. Check it out below — but maybe leave the lights on.