The follow-up to 2011’s Mylo Xyloto was recorded over the last two years at London’s The Bakery and The Beehive studio. Though produced primarily by the band itself, the nine-track album features a number of notable outside producers, namely Paul Epworth (Adele, Paul McCartney, U2), Timbaland, and Avicii.
According to the band, their original intentions for Mylo Xyloto was to create a more “stripped-down, more acoustic collection”, but they eventually recorded perhaps one of their most experimental records to date. When work on Ghost Stories began in 2012, they returned to the acoustic idea almost immediately.
“There’s only so far you can go without becoming pompous and a bit overblown,” drummer Will Champion told the BBC back in March. “So we’ll tread that line very carefully. Reset. Recalibrate.”
(Read: Coldplay’s Top 10 Songs)
Lyrically, the album was inspired by frontman Chris Martin’s troubled relationship with his wife, actress Gwyneth Paltrow (the two separated in late March). In a separate BBC interview, Martin said the couple’s marital issues helped create a kind of overarching “concept” for the album:
The idea of Ghost Stories, for me, was ‘how do you let the things that happen to you in the past – your ghosts – how do you let them affect your present and your future?’ Because there was a time when I was feeling like they were going to drag me down and ruin my life, and the lives of those around me. I was very lucky to meet a very good sufi teacher who started to introduce the idea of ‘if you sit with your experiences and the things you’ve been through, they alchemize.’ At the time he said that, I didn’t really know what that meant, but I trusted that it would work, and the more that I was learning about that, the more music just started flowing through.
Pre-orders for the album are ongoing. Below, watch the music video for “Magic”:
Ghost Stories Tracklist:
01. Always In My Head
04. True Love
06. Another’s Arms
08. A Sky Full of Stars