Ed Sheeran Makes Math Into Art With His New Album “-“

Art and math may come as polar opposites in a learning setting however, Ed Sheeran has intertwined his creative craft

Ed Sheeran

Art and math may come as polar opposites in a learning setting however, Ed Sheeran has intertwined his creative craft into all four symbols so far, with a fifth installment coming May 5th, (Subtract).

“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,” Sheeran said in a press release. “This is last February’s diary entry and my way of making sense of it. This is Subtract.”

Finishing The Equation

Previously, the singer-songwriter released +, x, ÷, and =, all of which connected Sheeran to his fans in a multitude of ways. Subtract will be the last issue of his decade-long mathematical era, and potentially his most raw and authentic.

In the announcement for the upcoming album Sheeran revealed, “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 continued, “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.

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 spiraling through fear, depression and anxiety.”

Sheeran concluded, “I felt like I 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. This album is purely that.” 

Meet Ed Sheeran On May 5th

As we mentioned, (Subtract) will be available on May 5, 2023.

Sheeran partnered with The National’s Aaron Dessner to produce his upcoming album which will feature 14 tracks that lean into a folk-style sound along with full-band and orchestral arrangements.

The duo’s month-long studio stint developed the tracklist below.

‘-‘ (Subtract):

  1. Boat
  2. Salt Water
  3. Eyes Closed
  4. Life Goes On
  5. Dusty
  6. End Of Youth
  7. Colourblind
  8. Curtains
  9. Borderline
  10. Spark
  11. Vega
  12. Sycamore
  13. No Strings
  14. The Hills of Aberfeldy