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It’s his first solo album in four years.
Ed Sheeran is known for dropping out of the spotlight between album cycles, and the past few years have been no exception. The UK singer-songwriter has been busy with his newborn daughter, who arrived last year, and has been hard at work on his new album, = (Equals), since the release of his last solo album, ÷ (Divide), in 2017. In 2019, he also dropped his No.6 Collaborations Project with appearances from Khalid, Travis Scott, Cardi B, Justin Bieber, and more.
With his new album on the way, Genius rounded up everything we know about Ed Sheeran’s = (Equals):
The Release Date
= (Equals) is set to drop on Friday, October 29. Sheeran first revealed the date in late August.
The Album Art
Sheeran shared the project’s artwork on August 19. Much like his previous albums, it’s an artistic take on the mathematic symbol the album is named after:
Sheeran revealed the project’s full tracklist alongside its iTunes pre-order. It will run 14 songs total, including his singles “Bad Habits” and “Visiting Hours.” There are no features on the album:
6.“The Joker and the Queen”
7.“Leave Your Life”
10.“Stop The Rain”
11.“Love In Slow Motion”
14.“Be Right Now”
The project’s two singles include production from Johnny McDaid, who had his hand in many of Sheeran’s biggest singles, and Fred again.., who worked extensively on Sheeran’s No.6 Collaborations Project.
The Recording Process
In a note shared alongside the album’s announcement, Sheeran revealed that he’s been recording the project for four years:
I started writing and recording this album June 2017. Its been a long, long process. I’ve been through love, loss, new life, grief and everything in between during the whole period of writing it, and I feel like it’s really a coming of age record. I’ve never been more proud of a body of work, or more excited/nervous for you all to hear it.
He wrote the single “Visiting Hours” about the death of his friend and mentor Michael Gudinski, and first performed the song at Gudinski’s memorial service, with Kylie Minogue and Jimmy Barnes providing backing vocals.
In a recent interview with Zane Lowe, Sheeran discussed how he chose “Bad Habits” at the project’s lead single and how having a child changed the way he approaches working and recording: