A Preview of Ed Sheeran’s Anticipated New Album

by Sarah McLaughlin '23
Editor-in-Chief


Arts & Entertainment


A Preview of Ed Sheeran’s Anticipated New Album

The Musician Returns to the Spotlight With ‘=’

By Grace O’Connor ’22

 

Ed Sheeran is once again in the spotlight, this time with the anticipation surrounding the Oct. 29 release of his new album, ‘=.’ It has been four years since he released his last traditional album, ‘÷,’ so fans are excitedly awaiting the day that they can enjoy his newest release.

The Guardian describes how “Sheeran had trailed the album with an image of a chrysalis, with butterflies featuring on the album cover itself. Speaking on Instagram Live while on holiday with his family, he said the imagery represents ‘new life – I’ve been through, over the last four years, different experiences in life, including getting married, having a kid, losing a friend.”

Evidently, these major life events have given Sheeran plenty of inspiration for ‘=.’ Fans and music critics alike are expecting it to be an impactful record and a strong representation of Sheeran’s talent based on the previews the musician has offered so far.

On Aug. 25, Sheeran performed a small show at hmv Empire in Coventry, England. He introduced two love songs, “First Times” and “Overpass Graffiti.” The hit-heavy set also featured recent singles “Bad Habits” and “Visiting Hours.” A close examination of the lyrics and composition of these songs reveals that they were put together with focus and contemplation. Sheeran reflects on small, impactful moments, turning them into works of art that are both meaningful to him and relatable to fans around the world.

‘=’ features 14 new songs. Interestingly, the album’s final tracklist was significantly cut down from an original set of songs. According to The Guardian, Sheeran described the process of making final decisions about which tracks to include on the album as “painstaking.” However, of the songs that made the final cut and the album as a whole, he said, “‘They all have their place – I love it, I think it’s the best piece of work I’ve done, it’s cohesive and it feels great.” It certainly seems that this album has been carefully crafted and will truly represent Sheeran’s hard work and the growth he has experienced over the course of his career.

Indeed, the amounts of time between the release of each one of Sheeran’s albums highlight different turning points in the singer’s life, making his discography uniquely heartfelt and impactful. In a recent statement, Sheeran described ‘=’ as “a coming of age record” and stated, “I’ve never been more proud of a body of work.”

For those eager to learn more about the upcoming release, Variety offers a sneak peak. The magazine describes that “thematically, ‘=’ finds Ed taking stock of his life and the people in it, as he explores the varying degrees of love (‘The Joker And The Queen’, ‘First Times’, ‘2step’), loss (‘Visiting Hours’), resilience (‘Can’t Stop The Rain’) and fatherhood (‘Sandman’, ‘Leave Your Life’), while also processing his reality and career (‘Tides’).”

Sheeran’s career has been filled with many highs. For instance, his 2014 album ‘x’ was the 49th best-selling album ever in the UK. After releasing his third album ‘÷,’ he embarked on a world tour that would become the highest-grossing and most-attended tour of all time.

Much of Sheeran’s success has to do with his dedicated fans who not only relate to his music, but are also in awe of his unique, pure talent. Over the course of the past ten years, his career has skyrocketed and he has become a household name.

His career is being especially celebrated this year as the tenth anniversary of the release of ‘+,’ his debut album, approaches on Sept. 9. Loyal fans who have been with the musician all these years, as well as the fans he’s won during this time, are excited to see where Ed Sheeran’s career will take him, and are counting down the days until they can hear his latest masterpiece on Oct. 29.


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