Ed Sheeran is gearing up to release his new song, “Eyes Closed,” on March 24, and on Wednesday (March 15), he gave fans some insight on the heartbreaking inspiration behind the track.
“This song is about losing someone, feeling like every time you go out and you expect to just bump into them, and every thing just reminds you of them and things you did together,” he wrote alongside two black-and-white photos of himself drinking at what looks to be a run-down bar. “You sorta have to take yourself out of reality sometimes to numb the pain of loss, but certain things just bring you right back into it.”
The four-time Grammy winner went on to mention his friend Jamal Edwards, a music entrepreneur who died in February 2022 of cardiac arrest at age 31. “Blue was Jamal’s colour, but now is all I feel. And I guess music helps heal, so I’m dancing with my eyes closed to try get through it,” Sheeran concluded his message.
Earlier this month, Sheeran announced that – (pronounced Subtract), the last installment in Sheeran’s decade-long mathematical album era, will be arriving on May 5 via Atlantic Records.
“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,” he explained of the upcoming album in his announcement.
“I felt like I was drowning, head below the surface, looking up but not being able to break through for air,” he shared. “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. 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.”
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