By the end of Coldplay‘s video for “Magic,” the light-alt first single off their forthcoming album Ghost Stories, frontman Chris Martin’s head spins – literally. The plot revolves around Cecile, “a beautiful young ‘magicienne,'” Claude, “her mustachioed husband, the famous but drunk magician,” and Cecile’s assistant Christoph – but basically it’s an excuse to get an attractive young woman (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon actress Zhang Ziyi) who can pull off fancy, tasseled sunglasses to throw knives at Chris Martin, playing her assistant.
Stylized as a black-and-white silent film with “Magic” replacing the ragtime jazz that opens the clip, the video shows Martin providing a safe alternative to her abusive and misogynistic husband (also Chris Martin!), in turn fitting the love song with a love story. The story ends with a suitably “magical” finale.
Coldplay previewed Ghost Stories in February with a chilly video for the track “Midnight” in February. The next month, they played the new album, out May 19th, in order at a Los Angeles concert to a crowd of 800, and a few days after that, reprised some of those numbers at their iTunes Fest appearance during South by Southwest.
Martin also made headlines outside of his band in March when he announced his separation from wife Gwyneth Paltrow. In a post titled “Conscious Uncoupling” via Paltrow’s GOOP newsletter, they wrote that they still want to keep the idea of a family for their children. “We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been,” they wrote. “We are parents, first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and co-parent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.”