The movie will show that Sheeran is so much more than just the guy who sings your favorite love songs.
Apple Music has released a trailer and release date for its new documentary about Ed Sheeran. The singer-songwriter took to his Instagram, posting a clip of the trailer and revealing that Songwriter, directed by his cousin Murray Cummings, will be available to stream beginning August 28th. The film will also screen starting August 17th at the IFC Center in New York City and at LA’s ArcLight Hollywood on August 24th.
The trailer opens with Sheeran saying, “I guess this is the first time on camera that you’re gonna see a song being written, so make sure you get all of it.” The documentary takes fans behind the scenes of the creation of his most recent album, Divide. The entire year leading up to its announcement, Sheeran was on a social media hiatus, his return marked by a simple post of a blue square, which fans later learned was the backdrop for the album. The documentary will also take fans on the road of Sheeran’s travels during the hiatus, as well as alongside him on tour.
The Songwriter trailer, which you can see below, features clips of the creation of “Galway Girl,” a song heavily influenced by traditional Irish music. We see Sheeran with friends and other musicians as the song is taken from “jam sessions to writing sessions.” The documentary will hopefully show Sheeran skeptics that he’s so much more than a just guy with a guitar, more so an artist with some of the most popular songs of today.
From “The A Team” (Plus) to “Thinking Out Loud” (Multiply) to “Perfect” (Divide), each Sheeran album features songs that flood radio stations and get stuck in our heads for days on end. However, they also feature songs that don’t get as much publicity as they should. And as a fan, that’s one thing I’m hoping to see in the documentary: the creation of the songs that aren’t overplayed, the favorites deep within the albums, like the Divide tracks “Happier” or “Dive.”
What people who don’t take the time to listen to Sheeran’s music don’t realize is that not every song on the album is about falling in love or heartbreak. The popular Irish folk tune “Nancy Mulligan,” sung from the perspective of Sheeran’s grandfather, is about him and Sheeran’s grandmother falling in love and getting married against the wishes of their families. The song “Supermarket Flowers,” one of the more serious songs off Divide, is about the passing of Sheeran’s grandmother and having to remove supermarket-bought flowers from her hospital room.
Skeptics will also hopefully get to catch a glimpse of what an Ed Sheeran concert is like. Fans who have attended know the surreal feeling of watching him create every instrumental and vocal part of his songs before performing the whole thing. The stage is set with a loop pedal, which is controlled by Sheeran’s feet as he records each piece of the songs and plays back the necessary bits at the right time, harmonizing with himself and playing back chords that he obviously can’t play at the same time as others. There is no band, no backup singers; simply one man, his guitar, an occasional piano, and his loop pedal. “No drum?” you may ask. No. He uses the body of his guitar as one. Sheeran has been known to break guitars on tour during performances, and not just the strings.
Regardless of whether you’re a fan or not, Songwriter seems to have a more unique perspective on an artist, as it was created by a member of Sheeran’s family. Audiences can expect to get an up close and personal glimpse at the private life of Ed Sheeran, something we don’t typically get to see and definitely missed in his year off the grid. He may not have had a cell phone during all that time, but he was in the spotlight without us even realizing.