2022 wasn’t an easy year for Ed Sheeran: he lost a close friend, struggled with his own mental health and his wife also received a devastating diagnosis. The singer processes the blows of fate in several songs and opens “the trapdoor to his soul” with his new album.

Ed Sheeran has had a dramatic few months. In the wake of the announcement of his new album “-” (pronounced Subtract), which will be in record stores on May 5th, the British superstar revealed massive mental problems. His depression was triggered, among other things, by a tumor disease of his wife Cherry Seaborn. The 32-year-old explained in a statement from his record company Warner Music that his wife received the devastating diagnosis last year during her second pregnancy. That’s why she couldn’t be treated at first.

The drug death of his best friend Jamal Edwards at the age of 31 also made it difficult for him. He was like a brother to him. On top of that, Sheeran faced alleged copyright infringement in 2022 and had to defend himself in court. At the time he was fighting for his integrity and his career. All of this was apparently too much for him: “I was in a spiral of fear, depression and anxiety. I felt like I was drowning, with my head below the surface, looking up, but unable to breathe to grab.”

That’s why his new album “-” will be the most personal album of his career so far, according to Warner Music, which will return to his singer-songwriter roots. You experience Sheeran as “vulnerable and truthful like never before,” it says. “I worked on ‘Subtract’ for a decade trying to create the perfect acoustic album, writing and recording hundreds of songs with a clear idea of ​​what it should be like,” says Sheeran.

But then everything changed: the strokes of fate described would have changed his life, his mental health and the way he looked at music. Writing new songs was his therapy: “In just over a week, I replaced the work of a whole decade with my deepest, darkest thoughts,” Sheeran describes the work process on “-“.

The new album opens “the trapdoor to his soul”: “For the first time, I’m not trying to make an album that people like, I’m just putting out something that’s honest and reflects where I’m at in my adult life. ” As an artist, he was unable to produce an incredible work. Now it is a “diary entry from last February”. With “-” Sheeran concludes the so-called “Mathematical” era, which began in 2011 with his debut work ” ” and will comprise a total of five albums. His new full-length will include a total of 14 tracks selected from 30 songs. Last May, Sheeran announced the birth of his daughter. Cherry Seaborn’s pregnancy had previously been kept secret. The two were already parents to a two-year-old daughter.

(This article was first published on Wednesday, March 01, 2023.)