By Kevin Rutherford
His new song, however, might be on another level.
As the release of new album X approaches, Sheeran dropped the official audio of a new tune, “Afire Love,” on his YouTube page today (June 16). From the title, the song might seem hopeful, perhaps bright.
Instead, it’s a song about Alzheimer’s and how one deals with a loved one who you see slowly slipping away from you.
In particular, Sheeran wrote the song about his grandfather, who struggled with the disease for over 20 years. He began writing two weeks before his grandfather died, finishing it at his funeral.
“Things were all good yesterday / And then the devil took your memory,” Sheeran opens the song shortly after an intro featuring airy strings and sobering piano.
It’s a deeply personal song, including a line with Sheeran recalling his father telling him that it “wasn’t his fault he doesn’t know your face / and you’re not the only one,” with another verse returning to the day of his grandfather’s funeral.
Seriously, he really goes for the dramatic effect here. The song has the potential to be the song equivalent of The Notebook.
“Afire Love” is available as a free download with the iTunes preorder of X. The album is scheduled for a June 23 release.
Sheeran played a packed set on Ellis Island last Friday in New York. While there, Radio.com spoke to the British singer-songwriter to talk X and his place in poptimism.