Ed Sheeran‘s new album, – (Subtract), due out May 5, was born out of the worst month of his life, which he says was February 2022.
He told Rolling Stone that was the month he was defending himself in the “Shape of You” plagiarism case. Then his wife, Cherry Seaborn, was diagnosed with a tumor as she was six months pregnant with their second child. And then, his best friend Jamal Edwards died.
Ed vents his frustrations in Subtract, which he created with Aaron Dessner, who was behind Taylor Swift‘s folklore and evermore albums.
Ed appreciated Dessner’s song-making approach, which creates the melody first. “Then he goes, ‘Now you say what you want to say,'” Ed explained. “So there’s no filter. There wasn’t any going back and checking on any lyrics … it’s just complete brain-to-page.”
The two collaborated so well, says Ed, that they wound up making two albums. He says they pulled three tracks off Subtract because they were too upbeat, and those songs formed the foundation of a new, forthcoming project.
“It was very quickly seen that we were making two different things,” Ed recalled, saying Dessner is already mixing that other album. Although a release date for that has yet to be announced, the singer revealed, “I have no goals for the record … I just want to put it out.”
Ed foresees at least five more albums in his future, all of which will use symbols as their title. He also has an idea for his final album before he kicks the bucket.
“I want to slowly make this album that is quote-unquote ‘perfect’ for the rest of my life, adding songs here and there,” he revealed. “And just have it in my will that after I die, it comes out.”
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