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Ed Sheeran explains meaning behind every song on his new album =

31 October 2021, 07:00 | Updated: 19 November 2021, 08:25

Ed Sheeran new album track list: Here's what inspired every song on Ed Sheeran's album =.

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Over the past ten years, Ed Sheeran has become one of the world's biggest pop stars, selling out stadium tours and millions of records.

And now he is back with his fourth studio album ‘=’ which is the follow-up to 2017’s ‘÷’ .

While he has already shared the singles ‘Bad Habits’ and ‘Shivers’, the new record also includes songs inspired by fatherhood, his wife Cherry and his journey to adulthood.

Dev Griffin caught up with Ed Sheeran in the Heart studio
Dev Griffin caught up with Ed Sheeran in the Heart studio. Picture: Heart

Ed sat down with Heart’s very own Dev Griffin to talk through the meaning behind every track and why he thinks this album could be his best yet.

Listen now to Ed Sheeran's Album Playback
Listen now to Ed Sheeran's Album Playback. Picture: Heart / Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran new album tracklist:

See what Ed said about the meaning behind each song from ‘=’ below:

1. Tides

The first song on the album is all about Ed spending time with his family and forgetting about the chaos of life when he is with his loved ones.

“The verses are about what went on in my career and personal life,” he told Dev.

“The verses are pure chaos, while the chorus is completely A cappella - the lyrics are ‘time stops to still when you are in my arms and it will always’

“It’s like once the door closes and you’re alone with your family the chaos is shut out. It’s an interesting song because it’s so loud and so quiet and so loud and so quiet, I really like it.”

2. Shivers

Shivers shot right to number one when it was released earlier this month, with Ed revealed he wrote it specifically to be played on the radio.

He said: “It’s just a fun love song to be honest, my rule of thumb is to write songs for radio because that will extend the life span of the album.”

Opening up about his last album, the star added: “People wouldn’t listen to ‘Perfect’ unless ‘Shape of you’ came out.”

3. Bad habits

This one is self explanatory, with Ed saying it’s all about him trying to cut out bad habits out of his life.

4. Overpass Graffiti

The fourth track on the album started off as a power ballad, but Ed told us his producer added a ‘really fast’ drum beat behind it.

5. The Joker and the Queen

If you’re looking for that classic Ed Sheeran romance song, this could be it.

“That’s the big ballad I think,” he told Dev, adding: “It’s very slow orchestral, like if people are looking for the wedding song, that’s it.”

6. Leave Your Life

There’s a very special meaning behind Leave Your Lie, with Ed saying it was inspired by his good friend Michael Gudinski who sadly passed away in March

“It’s basically a letter, I had a friend that passed away and his daughter said that he always said ‘I love you’ at the end of every conversation so the last thing he said to her was ‘I love you’.

“That made me think, my daughter was six months at the time, and if I died she would never know, she would just have people saying ‘he really did love you’.

“So I wrote a song from the point of view of if I die tomorrow, this is what I feel.”

7. Collide

This one is a list of things that Ed did with his wife Cherry Seaborn.

8. Two Step

Ed said he wrote this song from the ‘lowest point of confidence’, telling Dev: “Every song I did, I would send in and just get a lukewarm reaction.

“I went into the studio and just wrote about being really low on confidence and I think that’s probably one of my favourite songs on the album.”

9. Stop The Rain

This one is all about being an adult, with Ed saying it’s inspired by constant problem solving.

“Every time I would solve a problem another would come,” he said, adding: “I think this is being an adult, when I solved a problem another three would turn up and the song is basically you can’t stop the rain so just accept it.”

10. Love In Slow Motion

Ed’s tenth track is about spending time with his wife, Cherry.

He told Dev it’s inspired by the first time the couple decided to turn down plans and just spend time together.

“We’d always be out for drinks and catch up and dinners and brunches and we just never had any time for ourselves,” he said.

“We just started saying no to things and that song is about the first night we said no to something and enjoyed a night one on one.”

11. Visiting hours

This is a particularly poignant song for Ed, as it was written about the death of his friend.

“It’s about coming to the acceptance that death is a part of life.

“My grandmother passed away five years ago, we knew she was going to die so I spent lots of time with her, she wrote me a letter for my wedding day to open.

“I processed it so I was upset, but we had the conversation.

“When my mate died in March, there was so much unsaid so I was like if you could have visiting hours in heaven, just five minutes to say ‘hey this is what’s going on and I accept this, I’ll see you when I see you,’”

12. Sandman

Sandman is a lullaby for Ed’s young daughter Lyra, as he told Dev: “I thought it would be weird not to acknowledge I had become a dad on this record.”

13. Be Right Now

The last song on the album sums up the entire album of emotion, with Ed explaining: “It’s a really slow piano ballad with a really heavy dance beat behind it, it’s great.”

Listen back to Ed Sheeran's playlist on Global Player