In a surprising move that might redefine how musicians approach album releases, English music sensation, Ed Sheeran, dropped his seventh studio album, "Autumn Variations," without the usual fanfare of singles or accompanying music videos.
Announcing the unexpected move on CBS Mornings, the same day the album debuted, Sheeran explained his deliberate choice to distance from the standard industry procedure. “In my previous albums, I dove deep into radio interviews, appeared on late-night shows, and always had a major single supported by a video,” he said.
“This time around, I simply wanted to share my music. No frills attached”. Notably, "Autumn Variations" is the "Castle on the Hill" singer's second album in 2023, following the release of "− (pronounced subtract)" in May.
Distinguishing it further, this new album is Sheeran’s inaugural independent release under his label, Gingerbread Man Records.
Sheeran Questions Industry Pressure
The award-winning singer emphasized his desire to embrace independence.
“After over a decade in the spotlight, with the constant stress of hitting week one sales and producing chart-topping singles, I found myself questioning, 'Why all this pressure?'” For Sheeran, venturing independently dispelled the usual strains associated with major music labels.
“The incessant chase for better, bigger outcomes isn’t sustainable. Independence, on the other hand, diminishes that strain. There's freedom in realizing that it's okay not to live up to external expectations,” the "Thinking Out Loud" artist articulated.
Having recently completed the North American stretch of his Mathematics World Tour, Sheeran announced "Autumn Variations" in August. The emotional reservoir that fed into this album was also revealed by the artist. Reflecting on the events of the past year, Sheeran took to Instagram to share, “The transformative phase last autumn witnessed a plethora of emotions among my friends and me.
From serene resolutions to heart-wrenching implosions after the summer’s climax”. He further delved into the therapeutic nature of his songwriting. “During my own challenges early last year, crafting songs became my refuge.
It wasn’t just about my experiences; I penned down tracks inspired by the joys, heartbreaks, and revelations of those around me. Whether it was the euphoria of new relationships or the depths of loneliness and despair, this album encapsulates our shared human experience”.