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Ed Sheeran confirms his next album is ready to go

"I'd basically made two records over the last four years"

By Tom Skinner

Ed Sheeran poses for a press photo with his head resting on his arms, wearing a white t-shirt
Ed Sheeran recently released new album '='. (Photo: Atlantic Records).

Ed Sheeran has revealed that his next album is ready for release, and was initially due to arrive before ‘=’.

The singer-songwriter dropped his fourth studio effort last month (October 29). It came after his manager Stuart Camp claimed that Sheeran had a fifth record in the can, explaining: “It won’t be another four-year wait, I can promise you.”

During a new interview on KISS (via, the ‘Bad Habits’ star confirmed Camp’s comments, saying: “It’s not called ‘Minus’ but it’s gonna come… it depends how well ‘Equals’ goes, to be honest. ‘Cause if ‘Equals’ bombs then you know, the next one will come quite quickly [Laughs].”

Sheeran went on to explain that ‘=’ “was meant to be the finale” in a string of albums, adding that he “basically made two records over the last four years”.

“And, in all honestly, it got to January [and] England looked a bit bleak,” he continued. “So, I was gonna put out the other record. And then as I was sort of preparing that, England starts opening up.

“The Euros start happening. Bars are opening. Gigs are happening. It’s summer. And I had ‘Bad Habits’. And I was like this song exists in the summer and this summer exists in a world where England’s opening up and people are feeling happy again. So, I just switched them around.”

Elsewhere, Sheeran explained that he had to cut down the ‘=’ tracklist from 16-17 songs so it would fit onto a standard vinyl. “It’s gonna have to be a double vinyl if you do that,” he said.

“I listen to a lot of vinyl at home. And I love getting to the end of one side and flipping it and having the other side and then flipping it back. I love the no skip policy. There’s no skipping on a vinyl. This is on cassette as well – there’s no skip on cassette.

He continued: “I would love, if you’re gonna listen to it for the first time, listen to it in full, even if it’s on streaming. Just listen to it in full. No skips. No shuffle. Just take it in once and then and then do what you want.”

Stuart Camp said last month that Sheeran’s upcoming live tour – which kicks off next April – will “span three or four years, and there will be another record within that cycle, that was always the plan.”

He added: “Ed already knows what the next album is. He’s already got a track-listing for it, and I will get that changed over the next 12 months.”

Ed Sheeran recently explained that he is planning to make “10 symbol records” overall, including ‘+’, ‘x’, ‘÷’ and ‘=’, as well as the aforementioned ‘-‘ – an acoustic collection slated for a 2022 release.

Meanwhile, the singer is scheduled to play a special one-off gig at St John at Hackney Church in London on December 13 in aid of the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation.

He is also set to release a collaborative Christmas song with Elton John.

In a review of Ed Sheeran’s ‘=’, Rolling Stone UK noted the album’s “flashes of brilliance” but said that it ultimately “retread[s] the same ground, both sonically and lyrically, with middling results”.