Ed Sheeran has released a stripped-back version of his new song 'Eyes Closed'.
He has his guitar with him and is accompanied by Aaron Dessner of The National on piano, and a string orchestra.
After losing his close friends Jamal Edwards and Shane Warne within weeks of each other last year, the 32-year-old pop star revisited the old track he'd penned about a break-up and it became a song about loss.
He said: “This song is about losing someone, feeling like every time you go out and you expect to just bump into them, and everything just reminds you of them and the things you did together. You sorta have to take yourself out of reality sometimes to numb the pain of loss, but certain things just bring you right back into it."
Just a few days back he released the music video of 'Eye Closed' where he turned his grief into a giant blue monster.
Ed said: "When I was thinking of concepts for the Eyes Closed music video, I wanted to make a video inspired by movies like Harvey, where the main character has an imaginary friend who’s a giant rabbit that no one can see. There’s also a book I read my daughters where sadness is encapsulated by an imaginary creature. Often sadness is something that follows you around, engulfing the rooms you’re in, and you can feel and see it, but no one else around you can. So I decided to create my own big blue monster for the video. He gets bigger and bigger as the video goes on, till he takes up whole rooms, and is all I can see, just like sadness.”
The single is part of Ed's upcoming album, '-', which is released on May 5.
The album contains the Grammy winner's "deepest, darkest thoughts" after the deaths of the 'Shape of You' hitmaker's best friends and after learning his wife Cherry Seaborn - with whom he has Lyra, two, and Jupiter, nine months - had a tumour while pregnant with their second child.
There is also a whole chapter called 'Loss' on Ed's upcoming Disney+ docu-series, 'Ed Sheeran: The Sum Of It All' for Disney+, out on May 3