‘At the start of 2022, a series of events changed my life, my mental health, and ultimately the way I viewed music and art’
Ed Sheeran’s new album Subtract will deal with his wife’s cancer as well as other serious subject matter.
The musician revealed that his wife Cherry was diagnosed with an inoperable tumour while she was pregnant with their second child, who was born last May.
In a release announcing his sixth album, Sheeran said that Cherry was told there was “no route to treatment until after the birth”. He did not offer an update on his wife’s health beyond that.
Sheeran’s statement also said that the album was influenced by the death of his friend Jamal Edwards: “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.
“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.”
The popstar added that the album had been in the works for a decade: “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.”
Sheeran revealed he rewrote the entire album across one week: “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.
Subtract will be produced by Aaron Dessner of The National, who co-produced Taylor Swift’s Folklore. Sheeran announced that the album will be 14 songs long and not include the previously released F64 which was a tribute to Edwards.
Subtract by Ed Sheeran will be released on 5 May.