When Halloween is over this weekend, some are still taking over to celebrate the scary content. If you’re part of this band – and you want a new catchy tune at the same time – then Danny Elfman is behind you. The legendary composer and former singer Oingo Boyngo recently made his debut with Happy, his first solo single in more than three decades. The beginning of the song was accompanied by an ice-cold video clip, in which a lot of physical horror can be seen on the face of Elfman with the digital controls, but also skeletons, puppet heads and other sinister ephemeral phenomena.
In the song itself there are also slightly heavy lyrics, which become more and more disturbing and resonant as the song progresses. According to Elfman in his statement (via Variety) the original goal was to start the song during the noisy performance 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 said. It is written as an absurd anti-pop song, conceived as a very simple pop song that breaks down into something more subversive. The cynicism of the texts reminds me of my feelings in a world that is half dystopian and upside down.
However, the fact that Elfman released the song during the terrible season is very appropriate, especially considering the long history with the party.
Halloween’s always been my big night, Elfman said. As a child, there was no competition. Coincidentally, in my former band Oingo Boingo, our Halloween shows were special events and our biggest shows of the year. And the double album Nightmare for Christmas was also a special Halloween concert, which was more successful than I had ever imagined. It really meant a lot to me, because the character of Jack Skellington, with whom I am very connected, was a very special part of my life for many years.
Happy has Elfman on vocals, guitar and synthesizers, with Josh Freeze (Devo, Nine Inch Nails) on drums, Nili Broch (Deth clock) on guitar, Stu Brooks (Dub Trio) on bass and Randall Dunn on other synthesizers.
So even though Halloween is technically coming to an end, at least we have the pleasure of participating in Elfman’s equally interesting work on subjects like the Nightmare on Christmas Eve and Beatlejus.
The nightmare for Christmas is of course Christmas, but for me it’s a Halloween movie, Elfman said in an interview in 2019. When I was young, Halloween was my favorite night of the year, and Christmas was a difficult time. As an adult, a dark cloud followed me – perhaps to my own children from an early age – and I created a new, brighter picture of Christmas.
I also felt very close to the fate of Jack Skellington because I knew what it was like to be king of my little world, to want this world and to want something else, he continued. So I felt very close to Halloween, but also very close to Jack and what he was going through.
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