“Last autumn, I found that my friends and I were going through so many life changes. After the heat of the summer, everything either calmed, settled, fell apart, came to a head or imploded,” Sheeran said in a press release.
“When I went through a difficult time at the start of last year, writing songs helped me understand my feelings and come to terms with what was going on, and when I learned about my friend’s different situations, I wrote songs, some from their perspectives, some from mine, to capture how they and I viewed the world at that time. There were highs of falling in love and new friendships among lows of heartbreak, depression, loneliness and confusion.”
“My dad and brother told me about a composer called Elgar, who composed ‘Enigma Variations’, where each of the 14 compositions were about a different one of his friends. This is what inspired me to make this album. When I recorded ‘Subtract’ with Aaron Dessner, we clicked immediately. We wrote and recorded non-stop and this album was born out of that partnership. I feel he has captured the feeling of autumn so wonderfully in his sonics and I hope everyone loves it as much as I do.”
Sheeran had been teasing new music last week, sharing a post on Instagram that read “autumn is coming” followed by a spoof advertisement for “damper hampers” ready for the upcoming season.
‘Autumn Variations’ tracklist:
4. ‘Plastic Bag’
6. ‘American Town’
7. ‘That’s On Me’
12. ‘When Will I Be Alright’
13. ‘The Day I Was Born’
14. ‘Head > Heels’
Meanwhile, Sheeran recently shot down any suggestion that he would play the Super Bowl Halftime show.
“There was a conversation awhile ago, I think it was when Coldplay did it – of me going on to play ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and I think that would be the only way I would do it is if I were joining someone else,” he said.
“I think it’s an American thing. I don’t have pizazz,” Sheeran explained.