Porter Robinson Can’t Escape A Squad Of Obsessed Dolls In His ‘Cheerleader’ Video

On March 1, Porter Robinson wrote across his social media accounts, “The album is done.” Robinson didn’t make his fans wait too terribly long before releasing the lead single off his forthcoming third LP, as “Cheerleader” arrived alongside a Hugh Mulhern-directed video on Wednesday, March 20.

“When I got back in the studio for ‘Cheerleader,’ I asked: What would be something that people could love with zero context — just instantaneous, universal, explosive connection?” Robinson said in a statement, as per a press release. “‘Cheerleader’ is my take on bottling that feeling.”

The video begins with a life-size doll eating some sort of gummy, and then it cuts to Robinson jamming on keyboard and guitar as a now-doll-sized doll dances along. Robinson is alone in a room — which is mostly bland, except for a giant pink-tinged painting of a cat — before joining a group of life-sized dolls dressed as cheerleaders at what appears to be a karaoke party.

“Cheerleader,” Robinson sings. “Thought she needed me, but I need her.”

Simultaneously, the original life-sized cheerleader doll is on the computer playing with a program called “Porter builder v3,” using a 3D printer to build her preferred version of Robinson, which comes to life when Porter reappears dressed exactly like the figurine in a glittery room. Eventually, a Godzilla-sized Robinson discovers the doll controlling him in her tiny apartment and swallows the doll, which predictably causes him to collapse.

The dolls multiply and conquer until Robinson is back alone in a bedroom, strumming his guitar and slowing down the song’s otherwise manic pace to sing the bridge: “Somehow, I don’t even know what she does now / But do I wish her the best or do I actually miss her? / She had hearts in her eyes, she was rootin’ for me all the time / Her love, the type that makes you dedicate your life / Oh, my cheerleader / Thought she needed me, but I need her.” The dolls calmly watch Robinson through the window, but they get the last laugh — breaking the window and all of his belongings. The four-minute-long chaos is punctuated by Porter being burst open like a piñata.

Robinson’s forthcoming album will be his first since 2021’s Nurture.

Watch the “Cheerleader” video above.