Coldplay released their ninth studio album, Music of the Spheres, on Friday, October 15. The record found them utilizing emojis as song titles and slipping into their own world. Sitting down with NME to explain the concept behind the album, the band's frontman, Chris Martin, explained that Music of the Spheres is " a set of songs located in a distant galaxy... that we made up."
"It's where we can be totally free from any pressure of what we've done before and how we should sound," Martin added in the interview. "That freedom of location allows us to speak about what it means to be human. It seems a bit sci-fi and everything, but really it's a bunch of love songs. It's not even really set in space. It could all be set in Margate too; it just depends what the music videos and artworks look like – we could have dancing fish and chips salesmen instead..."
The album itself found Coldplay collaborating with the likes of Selena Gomez and BTS, the band willing to step out of their own sound and dabble in something different. The band's bass player, Guy Berryman, explained of the BTS collaboration, "My Universe," that the band has "got such amazing energy. We hung out with them recently in New York, and even though there's a bit of a language barrier, it didn't feel awkward or uncomfortable at all. When a situation like that arises, the easiest thing can be to say 'no' to a collaboration like that because they're different, or they're from a different genre or a different country. There's so many historical situations where that collaboration wouldn't have happened."
The band cements that Music of the Spheres is more about breaking down barriers, with drummer Will Champion adding to Berryman's words. "This notion that change is a bad thing is crazy – we want to grow and embrace music and culture from all over the world," Champion said. "That's the spirit of this album, trying to get rid of all those barriers we put up between us and other people."
Coldplay has been steadily touring their record (which contains song credits to both of Chris Martin's kids) in support of its release. They performed at this year's Global Citizen Live and were joined on stage by Billie Eilish and her brother, FINNEAS, then Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes. When they returned to London for an album release party at Shepherd's Bush Empire on October 12, Ed Sheeran joined along for a performance of "Fix You" and "Shape of You." Coldplay also joined iHeartRadio for an Album Releaes Party.
After putting a hold on touring for several years due to a desire to limit their carbon footprint, Coldplay revealed that they'll be returning to the touring circuit in support of Music of the Spheres. However, the tour will be as eco-friendly as possible, with fans on the dancefloor helping to generate energy, and the trek will cut down their CO2 emissions by 50% from the last time they had toured.