British powerhouse Coldplay has effectively dropped a bomb on their typical fanbase with their surprise single “Midnight.” Emulating some of Justin Vernon’s work as Bon Iver, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin shadows dreamy electronic instrumentals with airy vocals that bear no witness to the band’s traditional sound. “Midnight” speaks of leaving the lights on to keep darkness at bay and achieves a thoughtful simplicity absent from past works, especially the hyper-produced, platinum-selling Mylo Xyloto (2011). Reverberating synthesizers and steady progressions give “Midnight” a sort of Animal Collective vibe too, and maintain a folk-influenced ambiance that diverges quite dramatically from the group’s hard-hitting pop anthems such as “Paradise.”

The single was released with a music video featuring ghost-like images of Martin and other band members surrounded by trees, flashes of fleeting city lights, and visuals of coyotes. Negative lighting and black and white representations embolden the simplicity of the song and form a work of art that in some ways is much more powerful in contrast to the overproduction that colors their earlier work.

As pop music becomes increasingly electronic, Coldplay’s new single is evidence of established musical giants conforming to the shifting demands of audiences worldwide for a more organic sound.

Article by Conner Smith

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