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Danny Elfman Previews First Solo Album in 37 Years With New Song ‘True’

Big Mess was made largely in quarantine last year and will be released in June

Acclaimed composer Danny Elfman has released a new song, “True,” which will appear on his first solo album in 37 years, Big Mess, out June 11th via Anti-/Epitaph.

“True” is a menacing track that finds Elfman toying with grinding synths, booming industrial drums and blown-out guitar, while sharp strings give the song an even more sinister edge. “I got no destination,” Elfman sings on the track, “I just got termination/We talk about our harmony/We think about our termination.”

“True” arrives with an equally eerie music video directed by multimedia artist Sarah Sitkin. “The video is an exploration of fractured identity, muffled through the lens of memory,” Sitkin said in a statement. “Danny is a central figure within the video, yet only in his reproduced likeness via prosthetics, masks, and 3D printed body parts. I wanted to make a video that was gritty, unpolished and uncomfortable.”

Elfman has released a handful of songs over the past few months in the lead-up to announcing, Big Mess. The trickle began last October with “Happy,” then continued this year with “Sorry,” “Love in the Time of Covid,” and “Kick Me.” All four songs, plus “True,” will appear on Big Mess.

Per a release, Elfman made the bulk of Big Mess while in quarantine last year. The LP began as an experiment to combine an aggressive rock sound with orchestral strings, and as it grew Elfman found himself grappling the tumult of the Trump years. Elfman even revisited a song by his old band Oingo Boingo, 1982’s “Insects,” reworking it into a meditation on the greed of American elites.

“Once I began writing, it was like opening a Pandora’s box and I found I couldn’t stop,” Elfman said in a statement. “None of it was planned. I had no idea how many songs I would write but from the start, it quickly became a two-sided project with heavily contrasting and even conflicting tones.”

Elfman recorded Big Mess with drummer Josh Freese, bassist Stu Brooks, and guitarists Robin Finck and Nili Brosh. Following the album’s June release, a limited-edition box set will arrive in the fall, boasting unreleased remixes, alternate versions, collectable artwork, and a USB drive filled with video content and bonus material.

Danny Elfman Big Mess Tracklist

1. “Sorry”
2. “True”
3. “In Time”
4. “Everybody Loves You”
5. “Dance With the Lemurs”
6. “Serious Ground”
7. “Choose Your Side”
8. “We Belong”
9. “Happy”
10. “Just a Human”
11. “Devil Take Away”
12. “Love in the Time of Covid”
13. “Native Intelligence”
14. “Better Times”
15. “Cruel Compensation”
16. “Kick Me”
17. “Get Over It”
18. “Insects”

From Rolling Stone US