Embracing Ed’s own truths, ‘=’ seamlessly captures both the intimate and every day, elevating universal experiences to a higher plane. The fourth instalment in Sheeran’s symbol album series and a body of tracks that were made over a four-year period that followed his seminal ‘÷’ (Divide) album era, the new album 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’).
Sonically, ‘=’ encapsulates Ed’s versatile musical palette, spanning signature, guitar-led tracks and world-class balladry to weightier, euphoric production moments, as first showcased on the album’s first single, the song-of-summer, ‘Bad Habits’. The album artwork is a vivid collage of butterfly imagery symbolising the albums’ thread of ‘new life’ and is backdropped by one of Ed’s own abstract paintings.
“‘=’ (Equals) is a really personal record and one that means a lot to me. My life changed greatly over the past few years – I got married, became a father, experienced loss, and I reflect on these topics over the course of the album. I see it as my coming-of-age record, and I can’t wait to share this next chapter with you.” Sheeran stated in a press release on the album.
Stream the album and have your own coming of age moment while listening.