Grief and loss are recurring themes on Ed Sheeran‘s fifth studio album, —. Over the course of the past few years, Sheeran has endured several trying moments. From the loss of his grandmother, his wife Cherry Seaborn’s cancer diagnosis, and the death of his best friend Jamal Edwards, Sheeran has been through the wringer.
But as age-old adages hold, grief is part of getting older, and on one of —‘s most poignant tracks, “End Of Youth,” Sheeran deals with growing pains, as the number of loved ones around him seems to be getting smaller.
“Is this the end of our youth? When pain starts taking over / I just don’t know if I can ever just let it go / Everything’s falling apart, our love is real, it never closes / I guess it’s all part of life, but I can’t help but be alone / We spend our youth with our losing hearts wide open / And in the dark, it’s in the next, the end of youth,” Sheeran sings on the song’s chorus.
While fans will hear several personal accounts from Sheeran over the course of the album, he explained in an interview with Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe that he hopes the music will resonate with fans dealing with various forms of grief.
“I sent this record to the record label, and they were like, ‘Is it a breakup album?’ And it’s not. It’s an album about… grief and depression and stuff,” said Sheeran. “I feel that I don’t want to give too much context and hammer it home…I want people to listen to it and relate it to their own life.”
You can listen to “End Of Youth” above.
— is out 5/5 via Asylum and Atlantic. Find more information here.
Ed Sheeran is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.