The yuletide holidays came early this year thanks to David Byrne, who’s today gifted us with a newly-released song called “Fat Man’s Comin’.”
Byrne recalls writing the bones of “Fat Man’s Comin'” about ten years ago while he was working on his collaborative album with St. Vincent’s Annie Clark. Having decided that “the story of a fat man in rather odd attire who breaks into people’s homes and leaves mysterious packages” wasn’t quite right for that project, however, the track sat in the archives until now.
“I always wanted to write a holiday song,” the former Talking Heads frontman said in a press release. “I wouldn’t call it a Christmas song, as the visitation of Santa (formerly known as St. Nicholas, who mainly did punishing) seems to have evolved to be a more secular consumer moment than a religious or spiritual affair.”
“Fat Man’s Comin'” will be available exclusively on Bandcamp through the end of the month under a pay-what-you-can model, with all proceeds going towards Reasons to Be Cheerful, the good-news-only publication Byrne founded. But backed by playful percussion and sweeping orchestral arrangements, “Fat Man’s Comin'” is a pretty good reason to be cheerful itself.
You can also check out a lyric video for “Fat Man’s Comin'” via Bandcamp, which is paired with Byrne’s own hand-drawn storyboard concepts.
Aside from wrapping up another run of his hit Broadway stage show American Utopia, Byrne’s 2022 has also consisted of covering “Who Has Seen the Wind?” for the Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono tribute album, duetting with Mitski for the Everything Everywhere All at Once soundtrack, and teaming up with Devo for the benefit compilation Good Music to Ensure Safe Abortion Access to All.