Coldplay's sixth album, Ghost Stories, is now streaming on iTunes, one week before its release date, with a full-length animation of Mila Fürstová's album art. Over the past few months, the group has teased the album by releasing the single and magician-themed video for "Magic," the mournful and moody "Oceans," the chilly "Midnight" (and a disco remix of that song by Giorgio Moroder), the Avicii-assisted track "A Sky Full of Stars" and more ambient "Always in My Head." In total, the album contains nine new songs, and a deluxe edition of the album, available only at Target, features three bonus tracks – "All Your Friends," "Ghost Story" and "O (Part 2/Reprise)" – which, naturally, are not streaming on iTunes.
The album comes on the heels of frontman Chris Martin's announcement that he is "consciously uncoupling" with wife Gwyneth Paltrow. In an interview with the BBC in April, he explained how going through the breakup influenced what he wrote on Ghost Stories. "About two years ago I was a mess, really, because I can't enjoy the things that we are good at and I can't enjoy the great things around me because I'm burdened by this," he said. "I've got to not blame anyone else and make some changes."
In anticipation of the album's release, NBC will air an hour-long primetime special – Coldplay: Ghost Stories – that will blend live footage with "360-degree imagery" on Sunday, May 18th. Filmmaker Paul Dugdale, who previously made the documentary Coldplay Live 2012, shot the band when it performed the album in full on an L.A. soundstage before an audience of 800 in March.
The group has booked only a handful of tour dates to support the album, one of which will take place on May 19th – the day the album hits shelves – at L.A.'s 1,800-seat Royce Hall on the UCLA campus. Previously, the group played New York City's 2,900-capacity Beacon Theatre, where they dedicated "Fix You" to Mick Jagger out of respect to his recently deceased girlfriend, L'Wren Scott.
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