If the first song off Coldplay’s next album sounded like a bad parody of Bon Iver, then their first single sounds like The xx—in the best way. While “Midnight” was mush-mouthed and self-serious—the video had Chris Martin dancing with forest animals while making less sense than the fox—“Magic” aims only to be a hushed, simple pop song, and it’s all the prettier for it.
Over a spare electronic drumbeat and what sounds like a single, steadily plucked, reverb-heavy bass string, Martin sings in almost a whisper: “And if you were to ask me/ After all that we’ve been through/ Do you still believe in magic?/ Yes, I do.”
After two or three minutes, what you might think of as Coldplay’s own sound enters the mix: An acoustic guitar comes strumming in, Joshua Tree-like, and Martin—as he does at the climax of all good Coldplay songs—transitions up into his falsetto. Do I still believe in Coldplay? Sometimes, yes, I do.
You can purchase “Magic” now on iTunes. Coldplay’s next album, Ghost Stories, which will feature both “Magic” and “Midnight,” is out May 19.
TODAY IN SLATE
I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.
Yes, Black Families Tend to Spank More. That Doesn’t Mean It’s Good for Black Kids.
Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You
If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter
The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge
Iran and the U.S. Are Allies
They’re just not ready to admit it yet.
Giving Up on Goodell
How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.