All month Ed Sheeran has been letting the world know he’s releasing a new autumn-themed album. Now we know the details. Autumn Variations will arrive Sept. 29, less than five months since the release of Subtract, the last of his four albums named for arithmetic operations. (It seems like maybe he’s gonna do albums for all four of the seasons now?) Like Subtract, Autumn Variations was produced by the National’s Aaron Dessner, who has become the go-to producer for pop singer-songwriter types in Taylor Swift’s orbit ever since she recruited him for folklore, and who knows a thing or two about autumnal music.
A statement from Sheeran:
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.
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.
04 “Plastic Bag”
06 “American Town”
07 “That’s On Me”
12 “When Will I Be Alright”
13 “The Day I Was Born”
14 “Head > Heels”
Autumn Variations is out 9/29 on Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records.