Ed Sheeran wrote the introspective song with Snow Patrol's Johnny McDaid. He recalled to Zane Lowe:
"I was in my treehouse with Johnny McDaid and the label were like we want another 'Bloodstream
' and I was like no.
Then I was writing loads of songs with Johnny we did 'Hearts Don't Break Around Here' the same night. And before we went to bed, I was playing around on the guitar and I had that riff so we recorded it on his iPhone and I went to bed and had all these ideas of the song being called 'Eraser' cause I just liked that as a title.
I woke up in the morning, Johnny hadn't been to bed and he produced this whole beat to that riff I recorded on his iPhone which is still the same riff. That riff is recorded from the memos. And the original first line of it was what is now the bridge 'welcome to the new show' and i was just sitting there and i was like this doesn't hit anywhere here.
And then so I just said Johnny can you bugger off for a bit and let me just see what I can do and just write loads of bars and the first thing I came up with was 'I was born inside a small town, I've lost that state of mind. Learned to sing inside the Lord's house, but stopped at the age of 9. I forget when I get awards now, The wave I had to ride, The paving stones I played upon, They kept me on the grind' and that came within like five seconds and I was like 'Oh wow something's happening' and then Johnny came back half an hour later and we recorded the song. It was just basically vomiting on a song."