The launch of Ed Sheeran’s new album titled “=” saw the tour of the album’s key art ‘Visiting Butterflies’ in various cities across Asia. A global promotional feat by Warner Music, the visual interpretation highlights the stories from the album.
The projection is a virtual art activation that kickstarted in Hong Kong and made its rounds around Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. Each country has picked out a landmark that is significant to them; Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts in Hong Kong, Plaza Indonesia in Indonesia, the SM Mall of Asia Globe in the Philippines and ICONSIAM in Thailand.
The new album finds Ed taking stock of his life and the people in it as he explores the varying degrees of love (‘The Joker And The Queen’, ‘First Times’, ‘2step’), loss (‘Visiting Hours’), resilience (‘Can’t Stop The Rain’) and fatherhood (‘Sandman’, ‘Leave Your Life’), while also processing his reality and career (‘Tides’).
This album marks the fourth installment in Sheeran’s symbol album series and a body of tracks that were made over a four-year period that followed his seminal ‘÷’ (Divide) album era.
Written and recorded across Suffolk, London, Sweden and LA, the album’s executive production comes from Ed Sheeran, FRED (No.6 Collaborations Project) and Johnny McDaid (Divide). And with additional writing and/or production provided by Steve Mac, Joe Rubel, Amy Wadge, Foy Vance, Elvira Anderfjard, David Hodges, Andrew Watt, Lou Bell, Natalie Hemby and Ben Kweller.
In addition to that, Sheeran’s brother, Matthew, a composer, also contributes stunning string arrangements on ‘First Times’ and ‘The Joker And The Queen’. The album artwork is a vivid collage of butterfly imagery symbolising the albums’ thread of ‘new life’ and is backdropped by one of Ed’s own abstract paintings.
‘=’ Official Tracklisting
- First Times
- Bad Habits
- Overpass Graffiti
- The Joker And The Queen
- Leave Your Life
- Stop The Rain
- Love In Slow Motion
- Visiting Hours
- Be Right Now
But it’s not just his recorded music that’s seen the former Glastonbury headliner become one of the sought-after artists of the 21st century either. Possessing a mystical ability to turn 90,000 capacity venues into the pub back-rooms that he first started playing in, Ed made history in 2015 after becoming the first-ever artist to play Wembley Stadium solo – without a band and with just his guitar and loop pedal – over three, consecutive sold-out nights.
Next year, Ed will set off on the road again for his ‘+ – = ÷ x Tour’ (pronounced ‘The Mathematics Tour’), that’ll see him return to Wembley Stadium for a five-night run.
New Music Release, Charity for Christmas
On 29 November 2021, Sheeran and Elton John announced their new single Merry Christmas, a festive duet for charity. Inspired by a scene from the festive romantic-comedy film Love Actually, the song’s music video sees the duo pay homage to scenes from British Christmas hits from the past, including Last Christmas, Walking in the Air, Merry Christmas Everyone, and Stay Another Day. All of the UK profits from the song will go to the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Click below to watch ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ of the making of the music video.
Last night, Ed Sheeran and Elton John performed live on BBC’s The One Show.