Ed Sheeran is releasing his most vulnerable album yet.
The singer has announced that his latest mathematical album, –, pronounced “Subtract” will be out everywhere on May 5.
In a lengthy statement, Sheeran shared, “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 had 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 went on to say that writing songs were his “therapy” to help him “make sense” of his 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,” Sheeran explained.
“Within the space of a month, my pregnant wife got told she had a tumour, with no route to treatment until after birth,” Sheeran continued. “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.”
With both of these traumatic events, Sheeran felt as if he 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,” Sheeran said. “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.”
He ended by saying, “This is last February’s diary entry and my way of making sense of it. This is Subtract.”
Teaming up with Aaron Dessner of The National after meeting him through mutual friend Taylor Swift, Sheeran and Dessner started working on this album last February. Writing over 30 songs, – will have fourteen original songs.
Currently, Sheeran is gearing up for the North American leg of his Mathematics tour which starts May 6.
You can preorder the album here.