Ed Sheeran has announced his fifth studio album, titled Subtract, will arrive on May 5. The forthcoming record will chronicle the artist’s personal experiences with “fear, depression and anxiety.”
The project, which was produced and written in collaboration with Aaron Dessner, will mark the final installment in Sheeran’s mathematical albums, which first started more than a decade ago with +. The record will come after Sheeran’s latest release, “F64,” which arrived on January 19 as a tribute to his late friend Jamal Edwards.
Sheeran’s forthcoming album will follow his previous full-length effort, =, which was released in October of 2021. The project included hit tracks “Shivers,” “Bad Habits” and “2Step.” Last year, the artist received a Grammy nomination for his collaboration with Camila Cabello, “Bam Bam.”
Alongside Subtract‘s announcement, Sheeran shared a deeply personal message about how its creation helped him work through a series of personal struggles. Read his full statement below.
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,” Sheeran said in a statement. “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. 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. 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.
Stay tuned for Ed Sheeran’s new album, Subtract, out May 5.
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