Artist News Releases

Ed Sheeran announces final mathematical album

By | Published on Wednesday 1 March 2023

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran has announced that he will release new album ‘-‘ in May, completing his series of mathematically titled LPs.

Pronounced ‘Subtract’, the album will featured stripped back, acoustic songs, and was co-written and produced last year by The National’s Aaron Dessner – whom Sheeran met through his good mate Taylor Swift. Dessner, of course, having worked with Swift on her ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’ albums.

In a post on social media announcing the album, Sheeran revealed that the album has been in the making for many years, but that he scrapped all of his previous work and started afresh last year.

“I had been working on ‘Subtract’ for a decade, trying to sculpt the perfect acoustic album, writing and recording hundreds of songs with a clear vision of what I thought it should be”, he writes. “Then at the start of 2022, a series of events changed my life, my mental health, and ultimately the way I viewed music and art”.

“Writing songs is my therapy”, he continues. “It helps me make sense of my feelings. I wrote without thought of what the songs would be, I just wrote whatever tumbled out. And in just over a week, I replaced a decade’s worth of work with my deepest darkest thoughts. Within the space of a month, my pregnant wife got told she had a tumour, with no route to treatment until after the birth. My best friend Jamal, a brother to me, died suddenly and I found myself standing in court defending my integrity and career as a songwriter. I was spiralling through fear, depression and anxiety”.

Jamal, of course, is SBTV founder Jamal Edwards, who died in February 2022 aged 31, as a result of cardiac arrhythmia related to cocaine use.

Sheeran concludes: “I felt like I was drowning, head below the surface, looking up but not being able to break through for air. As an artist I didn’t feel like I could credibly put a body of work into the world that didn’t accurately represent where I am and how I need to express myself at this point in my life. This album is purely that. It’s opening the trapdoor into my soul. For the first time I’m not trying to craft an album people will like, I’m merely putting something out that’s honest and true to where I am in my adult life. This is last February’s diary entry and my way of making sense of it. This is ‘Subtract'”.

The album is set for release on 5 May. No news yet on when the first single from it will arrive, but here’s a short music-free trailer: