Ed Sheeran has confirmed that there will be no singles or music videos for his new album ‘Autumn Variations’.
The project is Sheeran’s second new album this year and was released yesterday (September 29), arriving just a few months after his comeback album ‘Subtract’. As with ‘Subtract’, it was produced by The National‘s Aaron Dessner and marks his first independent release on his own label, Gingerbread Man Records.
Sheeran has now explained why ‘Autumn Variations’ hasn’t had a traditional album rollout. “Each record before I’ve done, like, all the big going in and doing all these radio interviews, and going on the late-night shows, and doing, doing all this stuff. And this record, there’s not even a single for it. There’s not, there’s not a music video. I’m just putting it out,” he said in an interview with CBS Mornings [via Billboard].
He added that he wanted to release the record independently as a means of having a break from the life of being a big-budget pop star.
“I wanna put out an independent record,” he explained. “And also, like, I’ve had 12, 13 years of being a pop star, and having the pressure of it has to sell this week one, you have to have this hit single, you have to have this. And part of me goes, ‘Why?’”
In addition, he reasoned that it alleviates some of the typical major-label pressure he feels. “Everything has to be the biggest and best every time, and then better the next time,” he explained. “I think that’s part of the independent thing, that takes away the pressure. There are no expectations because there’s no company. You have to live with it. You have to be like, ‘I don’t care what people think.’”
Sheeran celebrated the release of ‘Autumn Variations’ by buying strangers drinks on a bar crawl around New York City.
NME wasn’t overly impressed by the singer’s latest project. Thomas Smith wrote in his two-star review that the album is “cloying”, describing it as a “snoozer” of a listen.
“‘Autumn Variations’ is akin to aimlessly swiping through Instagram, blurry snaps of followers’ leafy happenings whizzing past in a distracted daze,” part of the review read elsewhere. See what Smith did enjoy about the album here.