Watch Danny Elfman's very creepy video for 'Happy,' his first solo pop song in decades
Danny Elfman is getting into the Halloween spirit (no surprise there) with a new solo song (big surprise there).
The prolific film composer has released "Happy," his first new piece of non-score music since the breakup of his band Oingo Boingo, and Elfman's first solo pop song in 36 years. The single is accompanied by a very creepy music video, featuring an animated image of Elfman's face that twists itself into surreal imagery as the song progresses.
"I originally wrote 'Happy' to perform at Coachella 2020," the musician said in a statement. His planned set never came to pass, of course, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. "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," he continued. "The cynical nature of the lyrics echo how I feel about living in a semi-dystopian world turned upside down."
Indeed, the song doubles as both a seasonally appropriate Halloween tune and a 2020 anthem: "I'm so happy," Elfman sings over low synths at the start of the song. "Everything is crumbling."
Elfman has long been associated with the spooky season, however, due in part to his frequent work with director Tim Burton, and particularly the perennial Halloween favorite The Nightmare Before Christmas, for which he wrote the music and lyrics and provided the singing voice of Jack Skellington. Oingo Boingo's final farewell concert also took place on the holiday in 1995.
"Halloween has always been my Big Night," Elfman added in his statement. "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."
Check out the video above, which, fair warning, contains some NSFW lyrics and plentiful nightmare fuel.