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Ed Sheeran will release his new album '-' (Subtract) on 5 May 2023 - the latest in his decade-spanning Mathematic-themed album series. An album that revisits Ed Sheeran's singer songwriter roots and was written on a backdrop of personal grief and hope, '-' (Subtract) showcases one of the biggest stars on the planet at his most vulnerable and honest.
Since learning to play 'Layla' by Eric Clapton on guitar at the age of 12, Ed Sheeran has had a deep love for the singer songwriter genre. With artists like Damien Rice, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, who his father John introduced him to, being played on repeat at his parents' house, was - always on Ed's horizon. However, the songs and writing process took on a whole new meaning and direction after a series of hard events impacted Ed's world in 2022. But one thing that remained untouched was his strong desire to make an album rooted in his love of singer songwriter compositions. And as he prepares to release his most soulful work to date, '-' (Subtract) serves as a reminder of why Ed remains one of the most talented songwriters of his generation; an artist who breaks down his own experiences for fans to seek solace and belonging.
"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. 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 decades worth of work with my deepest darkest thoughts.
Within the space of a month, my pregnant wife got told she had a tumor, 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 spiraling 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 didnt feel like I could credibly put a body of work into the world that didnt accurately represent where I am and how I need to express myself at this point in my life. This album is purely that. Its opening the trapdoor into my soul. For the first time Im not trying to craft an album people will like, Im merely putting something out thats honest and true to where I am in my adult life.
This is last Februarys diary entry and my way of making sense of it. This is Subtract."
'-' (Subtract) is the result of a boundary-pushing Ed delivering the most profound songwriting of his career. The album was compiled last February in collaboration with Aaron Dessner (The National) on songwriting and production, after the two were introduced to each other through mutual friend, Taylor Swift. Having written over 30 songs during their month-long studio stay, the album's fourteen songs are carefully tied together by a grand production that ranges from bare, folk-inspired compositions to larger, full-band/orchestral arrangements.
Ed Sheeran broke onto the UK music scene in 2011 with his debut album '+' (Plus). He quickly established himself as a history-making artist and followed up with 'x' (Multiply), '÷' (Divide), 'No.6 Collaborations Project' and '=' (Equals) - a catalogue that has made Ed Sheeran one of the world's biggest musical successes of the 21st century.
|Media||Music CD (Compact Disc)|
|Released||May 5, 2023|
|Dimensions||10 × 125 × 145 mm · 108 g|