Before we got to where we are now with the release of “Eyes Closed,” we’ve heard Ed Sheeran basically open up about his darkest moments, including contemplating suicide and stopping himself from being a heavy drinker. But perhaps the most painful out of it all was his wife’s tumor and ensuing health issues and the death of his close friend, Jamal Edwards. If “Eyes Closed” and Ed Sheeran’s recent candid interviews are anything to go by, we will definitely be getting a record that’s heavy with grief and pain. And that’s alright. Sometimes a good cry is better than laughter.
“Eyes Closed” starts off by telling us how Sheeran goes to a bar to relieve himself of his pains after spending many months cooped up in the house, even though he knows “it’s a bad idea.” “It’s been a while, my dear / Dealing with the cards life dealt / I’m still holding back these tears / While my friends are somewhere else,” the second part of the first verse goes, with the lyrics trying their absolute best to make us sensitive to the grief that gave birth to the song.
Speaking about the song, Sheeran says, “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.”
The song is accompanied by a music video that sees Sheeran alone in the bar or in his car being watched by a giant teddy bear-like creature. Throughout the video, we see the fluffy owl-like thing lingering by his side, and it isn’t until the end that we realize that these creatures; one blue and one white, are invisible to everyone. The blue creature that tracks him everywhere in the video, according to Sheeran, is symbolic of the ever-constant presence of grief.
Of the reason we see what we see in the music video, Sheeran explains: “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, til he takes up whole rooms, and is all I can see, just like sadness.”
“Eyes Closed” – a single from Sheeran’s upcoming album paints a picture of grief that you try to move on from.