Ed Sheeran has released a new single, ‘Boat’, taken off his upcoming album, ‘-‘ (‘Subtract’).
The new track – out today (April 21) – comes alongside an accompanying music video that sees the singer submerged in the sea with waves engulfing him. ‘Boat’ serves as the opening track to ‘-‘, which is due out on May 5 via Asylum/Atlantic. Pre-order the album here.
Besides being the opening track for Sheeran’s upcoming record, ‘Boat’ was also the first song the singer-songwriter penned for the record. Per a press release, the song is “a metaphor for depression; a track that combats the struggles of feeling very low and not knowing how to break the cycle”.
Watch the music video for ‘Boat’ below.
‘-‘ will be Sheeran’s most personal work to date, following a string of gut-wrenching events in his life.
Sheeran explained in a statement when he first announced the record: “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.”
“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 [Edwards], a brother to me, died suddenly and I found myself standing in court defending my integrity and career as a songwriter. I was spiralling through fear, depression and anxiety.”
Last month, Sheeran released ‘Eyes Closed’ as the first single from the album. He explained the track is about “losing someone, feeling like every time you go out and you expect to just bump into them, and everything just reminds you of them and the things you did together”.
In March, Sheeran shared that following the death of Jamal Edwards, he “felt like I didn’t want to live anymore,” elaborating that “those thoughts were bad enough, but shame arrived as their companion. They seemed selfish, especially as a father. I feel really embarrassed about it.”
Sheeran also revealed plans for a posthumous album to be released following his death. That record will be a progressive work, with the singer planning to “add songs here and there” throughout the rest of his career.