Ed Sheeran will release a "really personal" new record later this year.

The Shape of You hitmaker announced on Thursday that he will be dropping = (equals), on 29 October, with the record to mark his fourth studio album.

"(Equals) is a really personal record and one that means a lot to me," he said in a statement. "My life changed greatly over the past few years - I got married, became a father, experienced loss, and I reflect on these topics over the course of the album. I see it as my coming-of-age record, and I can't wait to share this next chapter with you."

Equals will include Sheeran's hit single Bad Habits as well as a new song, Visiting Hours, of which he has also unveiled a performance video.

And in an Instagram post, the British star revealed that he started writing and recording the album in June 2017, and that Visiting Hours is a tribute to Australian music industry icon, Michael Gudinski, who died at the age of 68 in March.

"I've been through love, loss, new life, grief and everything in between during the whole period of writing it, and I feel like it's really a coming of age record. I've never been more proud of a body of work, or more excited/nervous for you all to hear it," the 30-year-old shared. "The next song off of it is called Visiting Hours, which I finished for my friend Michael who sadly passed away this year. If you pre-order the album you get this song with it, but it's also on all platforms from now too. Lots more music to come, but for now I hope you are as excited as me for this album."