Ed Sheeran is back with the latest installment of his mathematical albums with “-” (pronounced Subtract).
Set for release on May 5 and now available to pre-order the album covers a difficult period that spurred him to musically reflect on his “deepest, darkest thoughts,” he announced Wednesday in a press release.
“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. 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,” he said.
“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,” he continued of wife Cherry Seaborn, whom he welcomed a second daughter with in May of last year.
“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,” added the singer, 32, referencing a plagiarism lawsuit involving his song “Shape of You.”
“I felt like I was drowning, head below the surface, looking up but not being able to break through for air.”
He added that this inspired him to put out an album that accurately represented what he was experiencing.
“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,” he said. “This is last February’s diary entry and my way of making sense of it. This is Subtract.”