Photo: Annie Leibovitz

Ed Sheeran – Boat

Ed Sheeran’s boat is not going to sink easily, or at all. After opening the chapter for a new album with the release of “Eyes Closed” – a truly tragic song about the constant presence of grief – the multi-platinum Brit artist is continuing the story with an acoustic track that screams resilience.

One of the most famous phrases human beings like to use is “life is not fair,” and if you’ve lived on this little blue-green rock long enough, you start to recognize, grudgingly, the truth behind the words. On “Boat,” Sheeran is a man struggling not to let his hope drown in the persistent struggles of life. While “Eyes Closed” is basically about wearing grief everywhere you go, “Boat” is about not letting grief take over you so that you lose yourself. I’m guessing *Subtract – a 23-track album – will be a record that will explore grief, but also touches on healing.

Came in for the embers / Stayed out for the breeze / I need to feel elements to remind me / There’s beauty when it’s bleak,” Sheeran sings in the opening verse, reminding us of the therapeutic advantages of nature. The entire track sees Sheeran’s smooth voice accompanied by raw guitar notes, making the focus solely on the lyrics and slow melody, and not on any old instrumentals.

“So “Boat” is basically a song about resilience, I guess. Feeling at your lowest, and wondering if you can get through it, basically,” he said in an episode of Subtract Sundays. “I wrote the song and finished it by the English seaside. Which is, I think very beautiful, it is quite a bleak and cold place in Winter. I was looking out at the sea, and we saw waves crashing down. I sort of felt like, that was a good metaphor of what was happening, at the time with me. And that’s where the line “The waves won’t break my boat” came from.”

Apart from “The Hills Of Alberfeldy,” which was actually written ten years ago, “Boat” is the first song that Sheeran wrote for the album.

Keeping with the feels of the song, the music video is shot at a shore in the UK. You can’t not help but appreciate the visuals, especially the part where the waters crash into him in slow motion while he sings, but, for some reason, the video kinda reminds me of Shawn Mendes’ video for “Stitches.”

With “Boat,” Sheeran wants listeners to understand that grief is not the end. So yeah, don’t let the waves break your boat.