Coldplay has released a new song, “Higher Power”, produced by Max Martin. The song and video premiered in space from the International Space Station with French astronaut Thomas Pesquet. Here it is:


I’ve only listened to it twice all the way through so it hasn’t had time to grow on me yet and I’ll definitely give it a chance this weekend but…I can’t say it’s really grabbing me off the top. Like already I can’t really remember much about it. 


Anyway, Chris Martin is making the media rounds to promote “Higher Power”. A few weeks ago he was actually seen in South Korea, although the trip wasn’t publicised. You’ll recall, BTS did a gorgeous version of Coldplay’s “Fix You” for MTV Unplugged. So there’s been speculation about a possible collaboration which Chris was asked about yesterday – note his response. 

BTS fans are also pointing this out: 


If this is true, and we don’t know yet if it is, strategically what’s the read on this move? BTS is the biggest band in the world, at this point, they don’t need collaborations to secure a big hit – we already know this, we’ve seen it. Coldplay, though, no disrespect, could definitely use the assist. It’s been a while since Coldplay has charted the way they used to chart which is how BTS charts now (and maybe even higher). A collaboration with BTS immediately gets Coldplay closer to BTS’s ARMY – and all the benefits from that fanbase’s ability to mobilise and generate attention. Coldplay mentions today on social media by association with BTS are already helping with the new single. 

I do want to go back to “Fix You” and Coldplay signing off on BTS’s performance of their song because it reminds me of something. Coldplay is known to be pretty reticent when it comes to allowing their music to be covered. So, yes, the band must respect BTS a great deal to give the all-clear for “Fix You”, arguably one of their most popular and therefore protected pieces of music. The other song in the Coldplay catalogue that’s treated with similar solicitousness is “Yellow”. 


Coldplay initially rejected a request to use the song in Crazy Rich Asians. But then director Jon M Chu wrote the band a letter, explaining his feelings about the word “yellow”, how it’s a racist description of East Asians, and how he hoped to reclaim it in the film, with lyrics in Chinese performed by Katherine Ho. That made the difference and this version is just as affecting as BTS’s “Fix You”.