How the heck has David Byrne never penned an original Holiday song before? The Talking Heads maestro and Tony Award-winning Broadway star has effectively ended that drought now though, with the release of “Fat Man’s Comin'”
“I always wanted to write a holiday song,” the whimsical Byrne said in a statement. “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.”
As expected, the tune has an expansive arrangement and is filled with Byrne’s endearing whimsy. He explained that it was written around the time he and St. Vincent’s Annie Clark were working on the Love This Giant album. Similar horn sections are noticeable, but Byrne said it didn’t make sense for his St. Vincent collab and worked with producer/arranger Jherek Bischoff instead on it.
Listen to “Fat Man’s Comin'” above and check out a full statement from the always eloquent Byrne about the song below.
“I always wanted to write a holiday song. 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.
I believe the foundation of this music might have been written at the same time as the collaboration I did with St. Vincent a few years ago, but somehow a literal view of the Santa phenomena was what came out. It wasn’t right for Annie and me – the story of a fat man in rather odd attire who breaks into people’s homes and leaves mysterious packages.
I’d worked with Jherek before and enlisted him to arrange and record the “orchestra,” which I wanted to sound sort of old-school creepy. The old song “Teddy Bears Picnic” may have been a reference.
Back then, I thought I’d use the song as a means to raise money for a good cause, but to draw attention to this thing I thought it might need a visual, so I storyboarded a video for the song which eventually ended up getting shelved.
But maybe helping celebrate another year of Reasons To Be Cheerful might be a good reason to resurrect this song, and let the storyboards allow folks to imagine what the video might have been.
Enjoy and thanks for listening/watching”
David Byrne is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group