Watch Coldplay Get ‘Magic-al’ in New Music Video

Clip features Martin and Ziyi Zhang as starcrossed magicians

By Kevin Rutherford

Some have called Coldplay’s new single “Magic” a return to its early-aughts form, so it makes a tiny lick of sense that the band is also going back in time for the music video for the song. Though we’re not talking a decade in the past; rather, nearly a century.

After a ragtime intro featuring a quick credit roll and a summary of the players – including Cecile, a “beautiful young magicienne,” and fellow magician and husband Claude, “famous but drunk” – the clip unfolds into a black-and-white account of said magicians’ routine, including a death-defying stunt featuring a spinning wheel and tossed daggers.

Frontman Chris Martin plays Christophe, a young assistant to Cecile, who’s portrayed by actress Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). Claude soon becomes jealous of the duo’s chemistry, while Christophe continues to perfect his craft – even managing levitation. Soon he becomes fed up with Claude and his constant beating of Cecile and challenges him to a duel, wherein his tools of the trade are put to good use.

Related: Watch Coldplay Play New Song ‘Always in My Head’ at SXSW

The five-minute clip is directed by Jonas Akerlund, known more recently for his work on Maroon 5’s “Daylight” and “Hold It Against Me” by Britney Spears, with classic work including Madonna’s “Ray of Light” video.

The video comes on the heels of this latest single’s continued ascension up the U.S. charts, with a current peak of No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100. Coldplay’s new single originates from Ghost Stories, the four-piece’s sixth LP, which is due out in mid-May.

Even if it’s a fictional account, it’s good to see Martin finding love, too. Late last month, the singer announced he was splitting with longtime wife Gwyneth Paltrow – via “conscious uncoupling,” aka the Goop-y term for divorce these days.


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