It’s easy to take them for granted given their longevity and association with cool dads the world over, but Coldplay are a rare breed: an international successful, critically acclaimed rock band, topping charts and selling out stadiums in an era where that concept seems almost charmingly antiquated. While 2011’s Mylo Xyloto didn’t quite match the success of the band’s first few full-lengths, it holds up today as a gleaming example of creatively ambitious, macro-scale pop-rock, dense with hooks and shined to a sparkle.
The band is prepping their as-yet-untitled sixth studio album for release later this year, and just released the first single from said album: “Midnight” glides for five minutes on clusters of processed harmonies and frosty pulses, as Chris Martin and co. navigate some sort of parallel universe X-ray forest in the accompanying video. “Midnight” occasionally threatens to shatter and morph over the course of its runtime but never blossoms into one of Coldplay’s trademark climaxes, instead blurring into a phosphene cloud of synth melodies. It’s another step in a new direction for a band that’s never been content with staying in place.