Danny Elfman has reignited his solo career over the last few month with a monthly singles series. Now, the composer and former Oingo Boingo member has announced his first album in 37 years, Big Mess.
Due out June 11th via ANTI-/Epitaph, Big Mess is an 18-track double-album that sees Elfman reckoning with “four years of creeping fascism and civil rot” via his uniquely dystopian blend of industrial and orchestral sounds. Helping him create this politically charged stricture in the studio were drummer Josh Freese (The Vandals, Devo), bassist Stu Brooks (Lauryn Hill, Lady Gaga), guitarist Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails, Guns N’ Roses), and Elfman’s frequent collaborator guitarist Nili Brosh (Dethklok, Paul Gilbert).
“Once I began writing, it was like opening a Pandora’s box and I found I couldn’t stop,” Elfman explained in a press statement. He continued,
“None of it was planned. I had no idea how many songs I would write but from the start it quickly became a 2-sided project with heavily contrasting and even conflicting tones… I knew from the start that this wasn’t going to be a neat, easy-to-categorize record. It was always destined to be this crazy cacophony, because that’s who I am. The Big Mess is me.”
Recent singles like “Happy”, “Sorry”, “Love in the Time of COVID”, and “Kick Me” all appear on the LP, as does a reworking of Oingo Boingo’s “Insects”. The latest taste comes with the eerily stomping “True”, a gritty track that comes with a video from multimedia artist Sarah Sitkin. Elfman himself features in the clip, but as Sitkin explains, “only in his reproduced likeness via prosthetics, masks and 3d printed body parts.” Yeah, it’s about as unsettling as you’d expect, and you can watch it below.
Pre-orders for Big Mess are live now. The artwork and tracklist are ahead.
There are also plans for a limited edition box set expected to arrive in the fall. The collection will include unreleased remixes and alternate versions of the songs, so you can reasonably expect the “Kick Me” remix from Death Grips’ Zach Hill to be present. The package will also include collectable artwork, a USB drive loaded with videos and bonus material, and an artbook highlighting some of Sitkin’s work and Elfman ephemera. Stay tuned for more.
Elfman is also working with director Sam Raimi on the score for Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Big Mess Artwork:
Big Mess Tracklist:
03. In Time
04. Everybody Loves You
05. Dance With The Lemurs
06. Serious Ground
07. Choose Your Side
08. We Belong
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