Last Friday (Nov. 6), after months of teasing and hinting, Coldplay announced its farewell album A Head Full of Dreams will drop Dec. 4 via Atlantic. They shared a new song, a track listing, and an intriguing set of collaborators for the new set. To help you get ready for Coldplay’s seventh studio album, we’ve complied a handy run-down of everything we know so far about the latest offering from Chris Martin and company.
1. It’s Planned as Coldplay’s Last Album
Frontman Chris Martin broke the news on Zane Lowe’s BBC 1 show in Dec. 2014.
“It’s our seventh thing, and the way we look at it, it’s like the last Harry Potter book or something like that,” Martin said. “Not to say that there might not be another thing one day, but this is the completion of something.” He added, “I have to think of it as the final thing we’re doing. Otherwise we wouldn’t put everything into it.”
2. They’re Going to Tour Behind It
Martin also confirmed this in the Dec. 2014 interview with Lowe. Coldplay has promised a 2016 stadium tour, though no dates or other specific details have been announced. Coldplay didn’t tour behind its last album, 2014’s Ghost Stories.
3. They’ve Shared One Official Song From It
…And it’s a disco banger! Seriously, “Adventure Of A Lifetime,” track five on the new album, sounds like Coldplay’s take on the Weeknd’s “I Can’t Feel My Face.”
Hear that riff? Turns out it was actually inspired by… Guns N’ Roses. “I’d been begging Jonny our guitarist for years to make a riff that I like as much as ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’,” Martin told SiriusXM’s Jeff Regan recently. “He showed me that one, and I was like, ‘That’s it!’”
Martin went on to tell Regan that “Adventure” was the catalyst for the entire project:
“When we finished [the song], we were like, ‘Okay we are probably ready to come out again.’ This is one of those songs that brings everything else together on a project,” he said of the single. “I’m not really on it that much — I sing a bit and play a bit of piano — but it’s really the rest of the band on form. It makes me happy to listen to it.”
In addition to “Adventure,” they also shared music from an unnamed song in a 34-second album teaser video on Nov. 4:
Posted by Coldplay on Wednesday, November 4, 2015
4. They Shared the Track Listing For the New Album
1. A Head Full Of Dreams
3. Hymn For The Weekend
5. Adventure Of A Lifetime
8. Army Of One
9. Amazing Day
10. Colour Spectrum
It will also contain a hidden track called “X Marks the Spot.”
5. They Shared the Album Art, Too
Coldplay teased the artwork over the past couple months, as it popped up around London and on the shirt Martin wore at Global Citizen fest in New York.
6. It’ll Probably Sound a Good Deal Happier Than Ghost Stories
An official press release calls A Head Full of Dreams “the widescreen follow-up to 2014’s fragile and lovelorn Ghost Stories.” Martin has described its sound as, “big, colorful, joyful thing.” It certainly sounds like the whole album could follow on its first single’s danceable lead.
7. It Has Some Fancy Collaborators
Beyoncé, Tove Lo, Noel Gallagher, and Merry Clayton will all guest on the album. We don’t yet know in what respective capacities, but Beyoncé did play alongside Coldplay at the 2015 Global Citizen festival.
The album was produced by Norwegian duo Stargate, along with Rik Simpson, who has produced all of Coldplay’s studio albums since 2008’s Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends.
Coldplay and friends started work on A Head Full of Dreams right after wrapping promo for Ghost Stories and only emerged from the studio “about a month ago,” according to a recent interview with Martin.