A Big, Blue Grief Monster Stalks Ed Sheeran in ‘Eyes Closed’ Music Video

Somber track hails from the Stern Show veteran’s new album, “Subtract”

March 24, 2023

Ed Sheeran confronts loss, grief, and a big blue monster in his brand-new music video for “Eyes Closed.”

Directed by Mia Barnes, the somber clip follows Sheeran as he mopes around town, picking at food, drinking alone, and staring into a lake after some sort of tragic car accident. Lonely though his character may feel, the 32-year-old pop superstar and repeat Stern Show guest isn’t actually by himself—he’s followed around by a furry blue monster, a manifestation of his own sadness.

“Eyes Closed” is the first single off “Subtract,” Ed’s fifth studio album and first since 2021’s “=.” The sad track pays homage to Ed’s late friend, music entrepreneur Jamal Edwards, who passed away from drug use in 2022. “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,” Sheeran said in a statement. “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.”

“Eyes Closed” isn’t the first track Sheeran has penned about losing a friend. During his Stern Show visit in 2021, the Grammy winner said he wrote his “Visiting Hours” after the death of Australian music exec Michael Gudinski. “I did tours with him, and I always had fun,” the songwriter told Howard, adding, “I’ve accepted that he’s not coming back, but all I want is five more minutes – that’s what the song’s about.”

“Subtract” arrives May 5.

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