Ed Sheeran announces new album Subtract: 'It’s opening the trapdoor into my soul'

Virgin Radio

1 Mar 2023, 09:12

Ed Sheeran.

Credit: Getty

Ed Sheeran has revealed the release date of his new album, Subtract, and has spoken about the devastating events which caused him to replace “a decade’s worth of work with my deepest darkest thoughts.”

The musician’s latest LP Subtract (-), will continue his mathematical theme. In 2011, he released Plus, which was followed by 2014's Multiply. Next was Divide in 2017, and his most recent album was 2021's Equals.

The new album will be released on 5th May.

Taking to Instagram and Twitter, Sheeran wrote: “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 decade’s worth of work with my deepest darkest thoughts.”

The artist continued: “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.”

In the post, he explained that he didn’t feel like he 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.”

He continued: “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 official comes after the artist teased the record by sending mystery notebooks to fans, containing never-before-seen lyrics and highlighted dates.

Ed also recently made the day of kids at an Australian hospital, by giving an impromptu performance. Sharing photos and videos of the heartwarming trip which took place during the Australian leg of the singer’s Mathematics Tour, Queensland Hospital wrote: “A lesson in mathematics that our patients and families will remember forever. A big heartfelt thank you to the amazing #EdSheeran (@teddysphotos) for stopping by for a special surprise visit (and a song or two) today - you made us all 'shiver' (see what we did there). 

Subtract is due for release on 5th May.