2023’s most anticipated albums: Moon Music – Coldplay
Harry Craig analyses anticipated music to be released in 2023.
Soon after Coldplay’s most recent album, Music of the Spheres, was released in October 2021, Chris Martin rocked the music world with the announcement that Coldplay would only release three more albums before retiring with a self-titled final record in 2025. The prospect of the 21st century’s biggest band retiring in under five years was a huge revelation.
A year on, it seems this schedule has been pushed back somewhat. Coldplay are currently in the midst of a record-breaking world tour, and the 2025 deadline would mean releasing an album a year – which looks highly unlikely. Nonetheless, a slip of the tongue from Chris Martin recently on Canadian radio revealed that the band’s tenth album is on its way soon.
The new album, titled Moon Music, is planned as the second volume of Music of the Spheres. When the last album was released in 2021, it was teased as Volume 1, and the music video for lead single ‘Higher Power’ promised a “melodic orbit in three parts”. It appears Moon Music will be the second part, continuing the space themes of Volume 1.
Very little is certain about the new record yet, although Chris has revealed that new songs will be part of live setlists this year, with the next leg of their world tour beginning in Brazil in March and heading to Europe and North America later in 2023. He even excitingly teased that live performances of one of the new tracks would involve some “amazing” visuals with the band’s glowing wristbands, which could now be used as a giant screen in live stadium environments.
Chris has revealed that new songs will be part of live setlists this year
There are also some indications as to the composition of the album. Last April, Chris teased a “heavier” song called ‘Robots’, comparing it to ‘People of the Pride’ from the last album. This followed remarks that suggested the band had recorded new versions of ‘U.F.O.’ and ‘Us Against The World’ from their 2011 album, Mylo Xyloto. There’s a strong possibility some or all of these could end up on Moon Music.
The ambience of Moon Music remains unclear, however. Max Martin will remain their producer, having provided his highly polished production on the last album. Nile Rodgers from Chic also disclosed at the end of 2022 that he had been working with Coldplay in the studio – an indication of a possible collaboration on the next record.
The main question for Moon Music centres on whether it continues the pop influences of the last album, or leans in to an alternative or rock sound. The latter would certainly win favour with fans and critics, many of whom critiqued the most recent album for being too pop friendly. Indeed, Moon Music would be at its best if it continued the sound of Music of the Spheres’ epic ten-minute closing track, ‘Coloratura’, by far Coldplay’s best song in over a decade.
Either way, 2023 is sure to bring new music from Coldplay, and it will be exciting to see how Moon Music builds on the themes of the first volume of Music of the Spheres! The way these new tracks fit into the band’s live performances will also be hotly anticipated, with Coldplay widely considered the leading live act of our era.