Ed Sheeran fans rejoice! We’ve waited a long time for the artist’s next solo album and today he announced his fourth solo project, =!
In the age of digital music, fans are often blessed with a sudden song drop much to their delight, and that’s exactly what happened today with Ed Sheeran’s new release, “Visiting Hours.” Sheeran posted about the song on social media stating, “I finished writing this song going through proper grief for the first time, and for me, it’s one of the most important songs on =.” The new song carries all the beautiful trademarks of an Ed Sheeran tune and has a markedly different feel than his previous release “Bad Habits.” In “Visiting Hours,” Sheeran’s usual clear vocals and strong lyrics expressing the grief that comes with losing a loved one are present. The song is out now on all music platforms for fans to enjoy (AKA cry to, make sure to grab a box of tissues). Check out the live performance which was recorded at St Stephens Church, Hampstead, below:
Sheeran stated that he doesn’t consider “Visiting Hours” as a single off the album, but the next single will be arriving September 10 (let the guesses of which song it will be begin!).
Alongside the release of “Visiting Hours,” Sheeran also announced his fourth album, = (Equals), will release on October 29 as well as the full tracklist, which is as follows:
3. “First Times”
4. “Bad Habits”
5. “Overpass Graffiti”
6. “The Joker And The Queen”
7. “Leave Your Life”
10. “Stop The Rain”
11. “Love In Slow Motion”
12. “Visiting Hours”
14. “Be Right Now”
In the post, Sheeran shares that he thinks of this as his “coming of age record,” having been through the gambit of emotional and life experiences throughout the writing process. During a live stream on Instagram, Sheeran explained the symbolism behind the butterfly chrysalis: “The symbolism behind the album is new life. Over the last four years, I’ve been through different experiences in life including getting married, having a kid, losing a friend, and I just felt like the butterfly symbolism fit in with that.” He also shares that there are 14 songs and it was a painful process to cut it down (perhaps we’ll get a Taylor Swift-esque “vault songs” release in the future or a fifth album). The album art is comprised partly of a painting done by Sheeran himself over lockdown.
= is available now for preorder in a variety of bundles on Sheeran’s website, as well as several colorful merch items, so be sure to check it out while we await the release of the next single on September 10 (and cry our eyes out as we listen to “Visiting Hours” on repeat).