Premiere: David Ryan Harris’ “Coldplay” Evokes the Love & Pain of Poignant Memory

David Ryan Harris © Shervin Lainez

there was only you and me and Coldplay.

Every relationship has its defining memories and moments – little things that stand out, for one reason or another. Maybe it’s that moonlit stroll through the park, where you first said I love you. Maybe it’s that trip to the beach, or that ridiculous movie that you still quote. Maybe it’s your first inside joke… or maybe it’s music – the music that brought you two together, that allowed you to express yourselves to one another and share something too powerful for words to define. David Ryan Harris sings himself into warm reverie on his hauntingly nostalgic new ballad, “Coldplay,” diving into a whirlwind of memories where music and emotion collide.

I love to watch the way you fly.
When you’re behind the wheel you look so alive
screaming out ‘cause you’re not shy
when you’re chasing all the stations on the dial.
Just this once you let me drive,
and even though you’re not a fan of big surprises
you played along and closed your eyes.
You lit up my car the way you smiled
holding tickets to Coldplay
Listen: “Coldplay” – David Ryan Harris

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Coldplay,” the sophomore single off David Ryan Harris’ upcoming album Songs for Other People (out June 23, 2017). With an impressive career spanning over three decades, David Ryan Harris prides himself on his soulfulness. “People relate to what you’re saying when you sing from the heart,” he says in his biography. Six incredible full-length solo albums and credits working with the likes of John Mayer, Dave Matthews, India.Arie and may verily speak for themselves, but music is the gift that requires continuous proof of concept, and David Ryan Harris faithfully delivers. He may be known to some as John Mayer’s guitarist, but the gifted singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist truly stands out on his latest single: “Coldplay” digs deep into the core of our most tender emotions, connecting us to the special themes in our lives and loves that make life truly worth living.

Coldplay - David Ryan Harris

Coldplay – David Ryan Harris

I was sitting in 7, you were 8
of Row W, Section AA

wearing that yellow dress
I love to see you in.

The lights went down and the
mirrorball was spinning.

We were in the middle of a crowd
but everyone disappeared

‘til it was you, me,
Coldplay and a brand new love.

“A lot of couples have ‘their song,'” notes Harris, “This song is about a couple who has ‘their band,’ Coldplay.” Three vivid verses find Harris exploring the way in which that special connection – in this case, Coldplay – can forever leave a lasting mark on the individual, even if the relationship itself fades over time. That’s the power of music: The love it once sparked may fade, but the music retains that energy – the reminder of what once was, the scar of distant emotion, purpose, and meaning.

“Coldplay” reads, quite appropriately, like a letter to a loved one. In it, we feel the ups and downs, the trials and tribulations this romance has gone through. In the first verse, Harris recounts how Coldplay became something special: He fell madly in love with her at that innocent Coldplay concert. In the second verse, the relationship is over and Harris is with someone new – but stumbling upon those old concert tickets throws him off-balance, stumbling back into what he thought were closed emotional doors.

I love to watch the way you fly.
When you’re behind the wheel you look so alive
screaming out ‘cause you’re not shy
when you’re chasing all the stations on the dial.
Just this once you let me drive,
and even though you’re not a fan of big surprises
you played along and closed your eyes.
You lit up my car the way you smiled
holding tickets to Coldplay

6 months later you were gone.
I found somebody new
and I started moving on.
She’s alright, we get along,
but underneath I know there’s something wrong.
She’s a hit with all my friends and
before you knew it she was moving in.
I hadn’t thought of you
until I was cleaning out your drawer
to put all her things in and
found those tickets to Coldplay.

I don’t want the memories now
so could you please just turn the radio down?
I can’t listen to Coldplay.
It takes me back to the day, late 2008.
You were wearing that yellow dress
that I loved to see you in
driving like you’re running from the law
with your hair blowing in the wind.
Oh that’s all we ever seemed to listen to back then
and that’s why I don’t ever wanna hear Parachutes again.
It always takes me back to where and when
there was only you and me and Coldplay.

David Ryan Harris © Shervin Lainez

David Ryan Harris © Shervin Lainez

Our journey comes full circle in the final verse, where Harris expresses pain and physical grief over hearing Coldplay’s music. The emotional significance is just too taxing – the music isn’t just music, nor is it merely a symbol of something – it is his love, his remorse, his wanting, his pain, and his perseverance. It connects him to the past, forcing him to relive both the intense joy and crushing sadness of that relationship through visceral feelings that stand the test of time.

A careful read of the text suggests that the original couple may, in fact, come back together in the end – yet even still, Coldplay isn’t about the love of today; it’s about the love they had yesterday, “when there was only you and me and Coldplay.

David Ryan Harris sure knows how to capture our hearts. “Coldplay” is an overwhelmingly evocative, poignant and bittersweet roller-coaster of emotion we won’t soon forget. Support David Ryan Harris and pre-order his new album Songs for Other People via his Pledge Music campaign; the album comes out at the end of June. Fans can also catch Harris performing scattered solo shows throughout North America in-between his John Mayer shows. “These little vignettes are relatable, but they’re also a respite,” Harris says of his upcoming album. “Everyone can relate to heartbreak and love. It’s real.”

Just like those tickets to Coldplay…

:: pre-order Songs for Other People here ::

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Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York’s many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch’s words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing.
Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com