Danny Elfman-min
[Photo by Silvia Grav]

Legendary film composer Danny Elfman is back with an unsettling new video just in time for Halloween.

On Thursday, Elfman unleashed his new single “Happy,” his first new piece of solo music since 1984. As well, the multi-talented musician has also signed with ANTI-/Epitaph Records.

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Elfman is the mastermind behind some of the most iconic Halloween film soundtracks of our time. From Nightmare Before Christmas to Corpse Bride and Edward Scissorhands, Elfman has been Tim Burton‘s go-to collaborator for decades.

Now, Elfman is showing fans a new side to him that just in time for Halloween 2020. On Thursday, he unveiled his new single “Happy,” a song he originally intended to debut at Coachella this year.

“I originally wrote ‘Happy’ to perform at Coachella 2020,” he says. “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.”

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Elfman’s slot at Coachella 2020 was announced back in January. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the entire festival has been postponed until 2021. Now, with Halloween right around the corner, Elfman felt it was the perfect time to release “Happy” out into the world.

“I always enjoyed Halloween because it was a night to let loose, to become something or someone else,” he shares. “[Halloween is] a night to celebrate the dead, and ghosts and monsters of all variety. 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).”

The new video for “Happy” greatly reflects Elfman’s enjoyment of becoming something else during the spooky season. Featuring Elfman’s distorted facial expressions of both disgust and glee, the “Happy” video has a few other surprises that will surely give you a fright.

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For “Happy,” Elfman provided the vocals, guitar and synths. However, he called in some other talented musicians to truly bring the song together. Josh Freese (The Vandals, Nine Inch Nails) provided drums, Nili Brosh (Dethklok) played guitar, Stu Brooks (Dub Trio) provided bass and additional synth designs were done by Randall Dunn.

The release of “Happy” arrives just days after Mondo released a special edition vinyl of the Nightmare Before Christmas. The limited-edition release includes some rare artwork from Burton along with all of the classic songs composed by Elfman.

Stream the “Happy” video below.

What are your thoughts on Danny Elfman’s “Happy” video? Let us know in the comments below.