The Sound Cafe
Global Superstar Ed Sheeran Returns With New Song 'Eyes Closed' From His Forthcoming Album
By Stevie Connor. Photo Credit: Annie Leibovtz.
Global superstar Ed Sheeran has returned with a brand new song “Eyes Closed” – the lead single off of his forthcoming album “ – “ (pronounced Subtract) - alongside its official video.
Ed originally wrote “Eyes Closed” a few years back. Starting out as a break-up song, the lyrics took on a whole new meaning after Ed suffered heartbreaking loss which led him to revisit the track for “ – “. One of the most pop-leaning sonics on his highly anticipated new record, “Eyes Closed” captures the essence of love and loss, which is also reflected in the official video. Directed by Mia Barnes, we see Ed on a night out being followed by a blue monster - serving as a metaphor for grief, Ed is unable to shake it, wherever he goes, reminding him of the void that’s left in his life.
Speaking of the new song and the video, Ed says – “This song is about losing someone, feeling like every time you go out and you expect to just bump into them, and everything just reminds you of them and the things you did together. You sorta have to take yourself out of reality sometimes to numb the pain of loss, but certain things just bring you right back into it.
When I was thinking of concepts for the Eyes Closed music video, I wanted to make a video inspired by movies like Harvey, where the main character has an imaginary friend who’s a giant rabbit that no one can see. There’s also a book I read my daughters where sadness is encapsulated by an imaginary creature. Often sadness is something that follows you around, engulfing the rooms you’re in, and you can feel and see it, but no one else around you can. So I decided to create my own big blue monster for the video. He gets bigger and bigger as the video goes on, til he takes up whole rooms, and is all I can see, just like sadness.”
Ed’s soul-baring, new album “ – “ will be released on May 5 via Atlantic Records. Written against a backdrop of grief and hope, Ed wrote and recorded the fourteen-track record with Aaron Dessner (of The National) in February last year after a series of hard-hitting events impacted his life.
Ed is currently featured on the April cover of Rolling Stone in the U.S. and 14 other countries around the world as the magazine’s global cover star. In one of his most revealing interviews to date, Ed opens up about the most tumultuous period of his life that ultimately inspired the songwriting for “ – “.
Announced earlier this week, his all-new, four-part documentary ‘Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All” will be streaming on Disney+ starting May 3. Blending never-before-seen personal archive, interviews and performances, the intimate documentary explores how his personal experiences have shaped him to become the artist he is today.
Ed is currently in midst of his worldwide “+ - = ÷ x Tour” (pronounced “The Mathematics Tour”). The North American leg hits stadiums across the continent for the first time since his history-making “Divide Tour” in 2018, which officially became the most-attended and highest-grossing tour of all time by its completion. Dates begin on May 6th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, before wrapping up on September 23rd at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, CA (see attached itinerary). Ed closed 2022 topping Billboard’s Top Ticket Sales chart after wrapping the UK/European leg of the “+ - = ÷ x Tour,” performing in front of over 3 million people in 6 months, highlighted by a five-night stand at London’s Wembley Stadium.
Since he first learned to play ‘Layla’ by Eric Clapton on guitar at the age of 12-years-old, Sheeran’s love of the singer/songwriter began. Growing up with the likes of Damian Rice, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan playing on repeat in his parents’ house – artists that his dad, John, introduced him to – “-“ was always on Ed’s horizon. Yet as the songs and writing process took on a whole new meaning and direction after a series of hard-hitting events impacted Ed’s world in 2022, one thing that remained untouched was his strong desire to make a record anchored in his love of singer/songwriter compositions. And now, as he gears-up for the release of his most soul-baring work to date, “-“ serves as a timely reminder for why Sheeran remains one of the most gifted lyricists of his generation; an artist who breaks down his own experiences for fans to seek comfort and belonging.
“-“ is the result of Sheeran pushing the boundaries of his songcraft, as he delivers the most profound songwriting of his career. Teaming-up with Aaron Dessner (The National) on writing and production after the pair joined forces following an introduction from mutual friend Taylor Swift, Ed and Aaron began crafting the album in February last year. Writing over 30 songs during their month-long studio stint, the album’s fourteen tracks are seamlessly tied together by exquisite production from paired back, folk-leaning textures to bolder, full-band/orchestral arrangements.
Ed Sheeran burst onto the global music scene in 2011 with his debut album “+”. Rapidly establishing himself as a history-making artist, he followed with “x”, “÷”, “No.6 Collaborations Project” and “=” - a catalog that has seen Sheeran become one of the world’s biggest musical success stories of the 21st century.
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