“As an artist I didn’t feel like I could credibly put a body of work into the world that didn’t accurately represent where I am and how I need to express myself at this point in my life,” the 32-year-old stated. “This album is purely that. It’s opening the trapdoor into my soul. For the first time I’m not trying to craft an album people will like. I’m merely putting something out that’s honest and true to where I am in my adult life.”
Concluding that the album is “last February’s diary entry and my way of making sense of it,” Sheeran added, “This is Subtract.”
It will be the last installment of his mathematical album era, which began in 2011 with debut album + (Plus). It has since expanded to x (Multiply), ÷ (Divide) and = (Equals). The tracklist for the project—which is produced by The National‘s Aaron Dessner—includes songs “Boat,” “Salt Water,” “Eyes Closed,” “Life Goes On,” “Dusty,” “End Of Youth,” “Colourblind,” “Curtains,” “Borderline,” “Spark, “Vega,” “Sycamore,” “No Strings” and “The Hills of Aberfeldy.”
-, (Subtract), will be available to stream on May 5.