The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived. Ed Sheeran has returned to the music scene with a resurrection on social media and the release of two new songs, “Shape of You” and “Castle On The Hill.” It all started when, back in far-off 2016, Sheeran posted on Instagram and Twitter for the first time in exactly one year. Just a blue square, but it marked the beginning of a feeling of anticipation. Although it was a short break, we were still hungry for his presumed upcoming album Divide (continuing his trend of naming albums after mathematics symbols). Unlike other artists, it seemed to be radio silence these past few months. All “Sheerios” (as his fans are sometimes dubbed) were especially excited when “Love Yourself’ was released, which was originally for himself.
Soon came more teasers, and the beginning of 2017 was sweetened with a video of Ed holding a sign saying “New Music Coming Friday” and waving. He then promptly looked around sheepishly, stuck the sign in his mouth, and dropped it. This was the goofy ginger singer we first fell in love with. Little by little came trickling in the beginning lyrics and sound to both singles, and eventually the release of the songs themselves.
Hello 2017… pic.twitter.com/1UyjpgoFbo
— Ed Sheeran (@edsheeran) January 1, 2017
“Shape of Me” is an exceptionally catchy song. It didn’t surprise me that there had been a chance that it could have gone to Rihanna to sing; I can imagine her now singing the lyric “Push and pull like a magnet do” and it fits her style. The fact that Sheeran writes the majority of his songs astounds me and gives me hope that there are good songwriters that double as singers. It takes the meaning of “artistry” to another level, and gives more credence among pop singers. It’s comparative to “Don’t” in it’s tempo and ability to be a chart topper. Although not a song that is characteristically the Ed Sheeran vibe, it has all the necessary components to be a hit.
His other single, “Castle On The Hill”, is a throwback to the old days of the album +. It’s a testament to how singular the singers tone is and how his sound can evolve, but still stay true to his root style. It’s consists of accentuated guitar and striking lyrics that, in typical fashion, tell a story. I must admit that I was afraid it would be another “7 Years” mess when the introduction consisted of “When I was six years old/I broke my leg/I was running from my brother and his friends” but the chorus eventually proved me wrong. By painting a story in our minds, he reminds us why we listen to music – for it to feel relatable, and is extremely successful in doing so.
The return of Ed Sheeran with his release of two new singles proved that a year wasn’t detrimental to his popularity or ability to write poignant lyrics. Take the minute to listen because it’s most certainly worth the time.