Danny Elfman has used all this pandemic downtime to return to making uniquely creepy solo music. It began with his first song in 36 years, “Happy”, back in October, followed by the promise of a new single on the 11th of every month in 2021. First came January’s “Sorry”, and now Elfman has shared the perfect song for Valentine’s Day 2021, “Love in the Time of COVID”.
The new track is a thrashing, surrealist exploration of everyone’s current desire for intimacy. In a press release, Elfman explained that he wasn’t trying to make light of the pandemic. “There’s certainly nothing light-hearted or funny about Covid, but I can still poke a little fun at the crazy way social isolation has changed our lives in every way shape and form, and that’s what ‘Love in the Time of COVID’ is about,” he stated. “An expression of the borderline madness that so many of us have been experiencing. I wrote it from the view point of a young man going crazy in his apartment.”
In the song’s accompanying video from photographer/director Sven Gutjahr and creative director Berit Gilma, that “young man” is depicted as a green, animal-like creature. He goes through the routines of self-isolation — ordering pizza, attempting to find a connection on dating apps — all while Elfman sings to him from the only real source of connection these days: the screen.
Joining Danny Elfman on “Love in the Time of COVID” is drummer Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails), guitarist Nili Brosh (Dethklok), bassist Stu Brooks (Dub Trio), percussionist Sidney Hopson, and the Lyris Quartet on strings. Check out the song’s video below.