Ed Sheeran Announces New 'Coming-of-Age' Album '=' and Shares New Song 'Visiting Hours'

= (pronounced Equals) will hit shelves on Oct. 29

ed sheeran
Ed Sheeran . Photo: Dan Martensen

Sheerios, rejoice — Ed Sheeran is back!

The "Bad Habits" singer's fourth full-length album — titled = (and pronounced Equals) — will hit shelves on Oct. 29, he announced Thursday.

Sheeran, 30, also released a new song called "Visiting Hours," which he said he wrote following the March death of his mentor and friend Michael Gudinski.

"= (Equals) is a really personal record and one that means a lot to me," Sheeran said in a statement. "My life changed greatly over the past few years — I got married, became a father, experienced loss, and I reflect on these topics over the course of the album. I see it as my coming-of-age record, and I can't wait to share this next chapter with you."

The four-time Grammy winner is married to Cherry Seaborn, and the couple welcomed daughter Lyra Antarctica in August 2020. Two of = (Equals)'s tracks, titled "Sandman" and "Leave Your Life," will tackle fatherhood, while "The Joker and the Queen," "First Times" and "2step" will focus on love.

Sheeran wrote on Instagram that he started writing and recording the album in June 2017, and that it's "been a long, long process" having it come to fruition.

"I've never been more proud of a body of work, or more excited/nervous for you all to hear it," he wrote. "Lots more music to come, but for now I hope you are as excited as me for this album."

Sheeran also announced on Thursday a performance video of "Visiting Hours," which features backing vocals by Kylie Minogue and Jimmy Barnes, both close friends of Gudinski.

= (Equals) is the latest in Sheeran's symbol album series, following + (Plus) in 2011, x (Multiply) in 2014, and ÷ (Divide) in 2017. He also released an EP in 2019 titled No.6 Collaborations Project, which featured appearances from stars like Justin Bieber, Camila Cabello, Khalid and Chance the Rapper.

The new album's cover features a black equal sign atop an abstract painting created by Sheeran, as well as several butterflies that symbolize new life.

ed sheeran
Ed Sheeran. Dan Martensen

The first single, "Bad Habits," which was released in June, is nominated for three MTV Video Music Awards.

Fans can catch Sheeran performing ahead of the 2021 NFL Kickoff on Sept. 9, and can pre-order = (Equals) here.

The tracklisting for the album is as follows:

1. "Tides"

2. "Shivers"

3. "First Times"

4. "Bad Habits"

5. "Overpass Graffiti"

6. "The Joker And The Queen"

7. "Leave Your Life"

8. "Collide"

9. "2step"

10. "Stop The Rain"

11. "Love In Slow Motion"

12. "Visiting Hours"

13. "Sandman"

14. "Be Right Now"

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