The singer-songwriter revealed the news during an appearance on CBS Mornings Friday, the same day the album was released.
“Each record before I’ve done, like, all the big going in and doing all these radio interviews, and going on the late-night shows, and doing, doing all this stuff,” Sheeran explained. “And this record, there’s not even a single for it. There’s not, there’s not a music video. I’m just putting it out.”
Autumn Variations marks the English singer’s second album released this year, after dropping his sixth studio album − (pronounced subtract) in May. This project is also his first independent release on Gingerbread Man Records, which he founded.
Sheeran added that going the independent route was important for him because he wanted the opportunity to step away from being a big-budget pop star.
“I wanna put out an independent record,” the “Perfect” singer said. “And also, like, I’ve had 12, 13 years of the, being a pop star, and having the pressure of it has to sell this week one, you have to have this hit single, you have to have this. And part of me goes, ‘Why?’”
Sheeran also explained how dropping the album independently took away some of the pressure and stress that came from working with major labels.
“Everything has to be the biggest and best every time, and then better the next time,” he said. “I think that’s part of the independent thing, that takes away the pressure. There are no expectations because there’s no company. You have to live with it. You have to be like, ‘I don’t care what people think.’”
The “Shape of You” artist, who recently wrapped up the North American leg of his Mathematics World Tour, announced Autumn Variations in August. At the time, he also detailed the inspiration behind the album.
“Last autumn, I found that my friends and I were going through so many life changes,” Sheeran wrote on Instagram. “After the heat of the summer, everything either calmed, settled, fell apart, came to a head or imploded.”
He continued, “When I went through a difficult time at the start of last year, writing songs helped me understand my feelings and come to terms with what was going on, and when I learned about my friend’s different situations, I wrote songs, some from their perspectives, some from mine, to capture how they and I viewed the world at that time. There were highs of falling in love and new friendships among lows of heartbreak, depression, loneliness and confusion.”