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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Coldplay's been hibernating, but will begin work on a "surprising" new album next year

Illustration for article titled Coldplay's been hibernating, but will begin work on a "surprising" new album next year
Photo: Tabatha Fireman (Getty Images)

Coldplay’s never really gone. Even when they’re not recording, touring, or tabloiding, Chris Martin and company are memorably hobnobbing with celebrities, forecasting their collapse, or seeing their tunes reimagined in zeitgeisty flicks. Case in point: As an epilogue of sorts to their A Head Full Of Dreams album cycle, the band will see a biographical documentary from Supersonic director Mat Whitecross hit Amazon Prime tomorrow.


Whitecross recently spoke with NME about the documentary, and in doing so revealed that the band will begin work on its eighth LP next year. “They’re on a sabbatical at the moment so they’ve been ruthlessly on holiday for a year. They’ve never done that before,” he said. They haven’t been doing anything as far as I know, but they do have plans for next year however I’ve not been party to them.”

He’s playing a bit coy, as he says he’s “heard a few things” and that he’s sure “whatever they do next will surprise people.”

That said, his idea of “surprise” might differ from yours, as elsewhere in the interview he rather boldly compares the band to Radiohead. “They’ve been such a successful band that the narrative that gets portrayed of them in the press is ‘Oh, they must be very middle of the road,’” he said.Whether you love the band or not, each album is an experimentation and markedly different from the last one. Just like a band like Radiohead.”

He’s not wrong, necessarily; Coldplay has certainly evolved with each new record. The direction of those evolutions, however, perhaps does not lend itself to Radiohead comparisons. He does, however, hint that the band’s Kid A moment has yet to arrive. “They haven’t written a Kid A yet where their entire fanbase goes ‘What the fuck is this?’, but I feel like if you play the first one then the most recent, it’s not a foregone conclusion,” he said.They always want to be challenging themselves and surprising other people – that’s why they work with people like Brian Eno.”

As big fans of the band’s early albums, we’d love to hear what their own personal Kid A would sound like. In the meantime, enjoy the trailer for A Head Full Of Dreams, in which a young Chris Martin adorably enthuses from behind a gigantic set of braces.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.