Danny Elfman Signs to ANTI-/Epitaph and Shares Video for New Single “Happy” | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, November 23rd, 2020  

Danny Elfman Signs to ANTI-/Epitaph and Shares Video for New Single “Happy”

This Marks Elfman’s First Solo Work in 36 Years

Oct 29, 2020 Photography by Silvia Grav
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Iconic film composer (and former Oingo Boingo frontman) Danny Elfman has just released a new single titled “Happy” shortly after signing with ANTI-/Epitaph. This is Elfman’s first solo work since the release of his album So-Lo in 1984. Both the song and video are forebodingly timely, reflecting the volatile and turbulent state of the world we are currently living in. Elfman takes this turbulence and spins it into a macabre, ghoulish phantasmagoria that he is known for consistently delivering through his work with director Tim Burton. Watch the Aron Johnson-directed video below.    

Elfman had this to say in a press release: “I originally wrote ‘Happy’ to perform at Coachella 2020. 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 release of “Happy” is timely not only for the current state of the world, but also for Halloween season. “[Halloween is] a night to celebrate the dead, and ghosts and monsters of all variety,” Elfman says. “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 adds: “Halloween has always been my Big Night. 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 synths, and he’s backed by drums by Josh Freese (The Vandals, Nine Inch Nails), guitar by Nili Brosh (Dethklok), bass by Stu Brooks (Dub Trio), and additional synth design by Randall Dunn.

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