After much speculation, Coldplay have officially announced that their new album, A Head Full of Dreams, will arrive on December 4th. The album, set for release just 18 months after their 2014 LP Ghost Stories, features guests Beyoncé, Noel Gallagher, Tove Lo and Merry Clayton, the latter a prominent feature on the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter.” A Head Full of Dreams was recorded in Malibu, CA and London and produced with longtime collaborator Rik Simpson alongside Norwegian pop production team Stargate. The latter duo’s influence can be heard on the album’s first single “Adventure of a Lifetime.”
In an interview Friday morning with BBC Radio 1, Chris Martin described the new album as “the sound of us being free and happy and very grateful to be in our group,” and that becomes evident on “Adventure of a Lifetime,” a swirling, hypnotic dance track. “I can feel my heart beating / I feel my heart underneath my skin / I can feel my heart beating / ‘Cause you make me feel that I’m alive again,” Martin sings on the disco-influenced track’s chorus, a sharp contrast from the cold, synthetic Ghost Stories.
Over the weekend, mysterious advertisements popped up in London Underground stations promising the arrival of something on December 4th. As eagle-eyed fans of Coldplay noticed, the “flower of life” geometric pattern seen on the posters happened to match a similar symbol spotted on Chris Martin’s shirt during the Global Citizen Festival, NME reported. Coldplay eventually confirmed that they are responsible for the ads, posting a video of the subway poster image on their official Twitter. However, they didn’t formally announce what will be arriving on that date until now.
At the Global Citizen Festival in New York, Coldplay debuted a new track titled “Amazing Day,” which features on the band’s next LP. Coldplay’s new album arrives exactly a year and a day after Martin first revealed to then-BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe that the band’s follow-up to 2014’s Ghost Stories would boast the title A Head Full of Dreams.
Coming just 18 months after Ghost Stories, Martin hinted that, compared to that minimal break-up LP, Coldplay’s next album would feature a “colorful and uplifting” sound. In a statement, the band’s label Parlaphone championed the album’s happier sound, “Revitalized, they’ve made an album that’s bursting with energy, color and big, life-affirming moments such as the deliciously ebullient first single ‘Adventure of a Lifetime’ and the rocket-powered ‘Hymn for the Weekend.’ Coldplay has never enjoyed making a record more than this one. Nor have they been happier with the results.”
At the time of the Lowe interview, Martin also cautioned that A Head Full of Dreams could be the band’s final album. “It’s our seventh thing, and the way we look at it, it’s like the last Harry Potter book or something like that,” Martin said. “Not to say that there might not be another thing one day, but this is the completion of something … I have to think of it as the final thing we’re doing. Otherwise we wouldn’t put everything into it.”
Fans who pre-order A Head Full of Dreams now on iTunes will receive an instant download of “Adventure of a Lifetime.” The 11-track album (12 including hidden song “X Marks the Spot”) will be available in a variety of different formats including a Coldplay.com-only deluxe 2-LP set featuring color vinyl (one translucent blue, the other neon pink), holographic stickers and a poster.
Tidal, the streaming service that Martin owns a stake in, also announced they would live-stream Coldplay’s November 13th performance at Los Angeles’ Belasco Theatre, which promises to include the premiere of several Head Full of Dreams tracks. That concert, which non-users can watch on Tidal’s pre-paywall site, will stream at 8:30 p.m. PST.
Following the announcement of their new album, Coldplay joined BBC Radio 1 to discuss the LP as well as play a game with listeners. Fans texted their “most boring” lyrics imaginable to the station, which the band then transformed into very mundane songs. “How are your socks / How are your shoes / Are you listening to jazz / What did you choose?,” Martin croons on one of the tracks.
A Head Full of Dreams Track List
1. “A Head Full Of Dreams”
3. “Hymn For The Weekend”
5. “Adventure Of A Lifetime”
8. “Army Of One”
9. “Amazing Day”
10. “Colour Spectrum”
12. “X Marks the Spot” (Hidden track)