“‘Killing Me’ is for when you’re on your last limb begging this person to just please stop torturing your heart,” the singer says
A grey cloud of masochism has followed Conan Gray around for long enough. On the singer and songwriter’s latest single, “Killing Me,” he makes a point of freeing himself from emotional torment, but it won’t happen unless he puts up a strong fight.
“You’re killing me/You’re not makin’ it easy/Too busy deceivin’ and cheatin’ and lyin’ and competin’/To know how lucky you are,” he sings on the Max Martin-produced chorus. “You’re killing me/I just want you to free me/And though I am cryin’ and bleedin’ and barely breathin’/I can’t let go of your heart.”
In a statement about the song, Gray explained: “I wrote ‘killing me’ while I was sick with the flu. It was a miserable time where I was both physically sick, but also super heartbroken over somebody. Hence, ‘you’re KILLING me.’ I think we all have those people who don’t treat us nearly well enough, but we just can’t seem to let them go. People who call you at 2AM, and who you know you shouldn’t pick up……but you do. ‘Killing Me’ is for when you’re on your last limb begging this person to just please stop torturing your heart.”
“Killing Me” marks the singer’s third release of the year, following “Winner” and “Never Ending Song.” Two years ago, also coinciding with Halloween, Gray shared the one-off single “Telepath,” which recounted a similar struggle, though with a sharper edge. And two years before that, in 2019, he celebrated the spooky holiday with the release of “Maniac” from his debut album Kid Krow.
On “Maniac,” he asked: “Why do you call me and tell me you want me back?” Then, on “Telepath,” he predicted: “I got a feelin’ you’re comin’ back just like you have in the past.” Now, with “Killing Me,” he’s had enough, but the story remains the same: “Now you’re tossin’ a rock at my windowpane/Said, ‘I don’t wanna talk, just go away’/But you claw at the locks ’til I let you invade.”
The thread throughout all three songs could easily be the plot of a horror movie: the situationship who just won’t leave.