Coldplay just wrapped up their interminable A Head Full Of Dreams era with a career-spanning documentary of the same name, and it looks they’re about to start a new one. This time, though, it’s not just a new album cycle; they seem to have changed their band name to Los Unidades.
Let’s back up: Yesterday, Coldplay’s UK label Parlophone announced Los Unidades as a new signing along with a picture of four men in silhouette. Today Los Unidades have released a humid, hookless dance-pop track called “E-Lo,” featuring Pharrell Williams and Jozzy, as part of a new EP tied to Global Citizen’s upcoming Mandela 100 event this Sunday in Johannesburg. Los Unidades have two other collaborative tracks on the EP as well.
Mandela 100 was co-curated by Chris Martin, and Martin is scheduled to perform a joint set there with Pharrell. That’s definitely Martin singing on “E-Lo,” and as Pitchfork points out, TIDAL lists the four members of Coldplay (Martin plus Will Champion, Jonny Buckland, and Guy Berryman) in the credits. And the fan site ColdplayXtra confirms that the four members of Coldplay hold the legal trademark on the name Los Unidades. Also, on Twitter, Jozzy writes, “Can’t believe i worked w Coldplay.. still in shock.” Not really playing along with the “mystery,” Jozzy!
So: Los Unidades are definitely just Coldplay under a new alias. Whether this name change is permanent remains to be seen, but if Coldplay really did start from scratch with a new name, it would retroactively lend a lot of credence to Martin’s infamous comments comparing A Head Full Of Dreams to the final Harry Potter book. Plus the timing of a career-spanning documentary would make a lot of sense. Still, it could easily just be a one-time stunt related to Mandela 100. Time will tell!
Listen to “E-Lo” below, where you can also watch a trailer for the EP. It also features Stargate, Stormzy, David Guetta, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Cassper Nyovest, Danny Ocean, and Jess Kent.
Global Citizen EP 1 is out 11/30 on Parlophone/Atlantic. Pre-order it here.