Just in time for the spookiest week of the year, Conan Gray has dropped a new video that begs the question: Would you survive if all your exes suddenly became zombies on Halloween eve, dead-set on winning you back?
That's the unfortunate scenario Gray faces in "Maniac," which co-stars The End of the F***ing World actress Jessica Barden. Together, they try to fend off her ex-boyfriends, who all have stereotypical high school nicknames: The Meathead, The Nice Guy, The Art Boy, and The Dreamboat. The cinematic clip pays homage to horror classics like Dawn of the Dead and Zombieland — with a bit of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" thrown in — but Gray lightens up the action with his suave dance sequences.
As for the song itself, "Maniac" is a total '80s fever dream, marked by shimmering synths and Gray's quirky lyrics about a fickle ex who leaves him simultaneously amused and hurt. "Tell all of your friends that I'm crazy and drive you mad ... So, why do you call me and tell me you want me back? / You maniac," he sings on the hook, with an eye roll and a smirk.
Watch "Maniac" below, and see the video as it airs today on mtvU and MTV Live.
In a statement about the new song, Gray said, "I wrote 'Maniac' in the shower after getting a midnight drunk sob text from my ex. They'd been running all around town telling everyone that I was some freak who wouldn't leave them alone when in reality, they were the freak. They were the one acting like a maniac — sending strange late-night texts and showing up at my shows unannounced. I thought it was hilarious and all my friends had dealt with the same thing, so I decided to write a cathartic post break-up song dedicated to psychotic exes."
The 20-year-old singer also detailed the "Maniac" music video, saying, "I wanted everyone's worst nightmare to come true — all of your exes coming back from the dead to haunt you all in one night. "Night of the Living Exes," if you will. ... I thought it'd be fun to showcase all of the stereotypes in a cheesy 80s horror movie-esque video."
"Maniac" will appear on Gray's upcoming debut solo album, and the singer previously told MTV News that it's "probably [his] top song off the album." Next up, he'll embark on a sold-out run cross North America. The Comfort Crowd Tour kicks off on October 29 in St. Louis before wrapping up in mid-December in Los Angeles.