Ed Sheeran has announced his new album inspired by the composer Edward Elgar’s most famous work, ‘Enigma Variations’.
The ‘Shape of You’ hitmaker will release ‘Autumn Variations’ on September 29, and similarly to Elgar, he has recorded songs about his friends’ lives, as well as his own highs and lows.
The Grammy winner has once again worked with pal Taylor Swift’s collaborator, Aaron Dessner of The National, who he heaped praise on for the way he “captured the feeling of autumn so wonderfully”.
They first worked together on Ed’s ‘Subtract’ LP, which was only released in May this year, which Ed revealed acted as therapy for him through the most difficult time of his life, which saw his wife Cherry Seaborn delay getting treatment for a tumour because she was pregnant with the couple’s daughter Jupiter, and on top of that, his close friends Jamal Edwards and Shane Warne died within weeks of each other.
The ‘Bad Habits’ hitmaker – who also has Lyra Antarctica with childhood sweetheart Cherry – admitted writing the record was therapeutic as his mental health had spiralled.
In a statement about ‘Autumn Variations’ , Ed explained: “Last autumn, I found that my friends and I were going through so many life changes. After the heat of the summer, everything either calmed, settled, fell apart, came to a head or imploded.
“When I went through a difficult time at the start of last year, writing songs helped me understand my feelings and come to terms with what was going on, and when I learned about my friend’s different situations, I wrote songs, some from their perspectives, some from mine, to capture how they and I viewed the world at that time. There were highs of falling in love and new friendships among lows of heartbreak, depression, loneliness and confusion.”
He continued: “My dad and brother told me about a composer called Elgar, who composed ‘Enigma Variations’, where each of the 14 compositions were about a different one of his friends. This is what inspired me to make this album. When I recorded Subtract with Aaron Dessner, we clicked immediately. We wrote and recorded non-stop and this album was born out of that partnership. I feel he has captured the feeling of autumn so wonderfully in his sonics and I hope everyone loves it as much as I do.”
The album will be released via Ed’s own label, Gingerbread Man Records.
‘Autumn Variations’ tracklisting:
4. ‘Plastic Bag’
6. ‘American Town’
7. ‘That’s On Me’
12. ‘When Will I Be Alright’
13. ‘The Day I Was Born’
14. ‘Head Heels’