There isn’t time – for revolution
There isn’t time – to evolutionize or hide
Those things most precious –
Our most precious Things that got erased, corrupted, infiltrated
I’m so sorry – I’m so sorry
In German, the number eleven, already rife with symbolism in numerology and history, is the word “Elf.” Fittingly, composer Danny Elfman, the literal Man of Eleven, unleashed a powerful new track on the eleventh hour of a toxic regime, and from here on out, he has an ambitious plan to release new music on the eleventh hour of every month henceforth.
Elfman’s deeply furious latest single, “Sorry”, is a blistering laundry list of rage against an oppressive, suffocating figure, dazzled by his signature cinematic flair. But for fans of The Simpsons and Tim Burton, gone is his usual dash of whimsy, although his unsettling choral elements do remain. Sorry, by contrast, is nearly five minutes of contempt, lashing out at dystopia, authoritarianism, and deception.
For the subject at hand, the timing could not be better. The accompanying video is heavy with symbolism, from the slimy black labyrinthine entity forming the sarcastic apology, to the distorted demonic appearance of Elfman himself spitting out the words. The visuals were originally created by Jesse Kanda, Melisa McGregor, and Berit Gwendolyn Gilma for Elfman’s thwarted 2020 Coachella performance. (Lizbeth Williamson did Elfman’s terrifying makeup.) The video is primal, visceral, and ugly. With that kind of venom to expel, it must be. Elfman tweeted, “I was looking forward to opening the show with something intense that no one had ever heard before, then the world turned upside down. So just try and imagine that when you hear it. I hope you like.”
The track follows Happy, released on Halloween and Elfman’s first solo single in over thirty years. “Sorry was the first song I’ve written for myself in a long time,” Elfman told Rolling Stone. “It began as an obsessive choral-chant instrumental work, which at the time I called ‘alien orchestral chamber punk’ and evolved slowly into a song. I was surprised by the amount of rage I’d been storing inside myself that came bursting out as soon as I applied my voice.”
Looking forward to 11th of February. For now, here’s Sorry below. (Pro tip: play it over the news for a wild experience.)