February 27, 2015: that was the last time Ed Sheeran released a new single. Since then, he has kept off the grid, but after a two years, the wait is finally over.
With a release date set for March 3rd, 2017, Sheeran’s new album, ‘Divide,’ is already poised to top the charts. He started releasing new music at the beginning of 2017, first with ‘Castle on a Hill’ and ‘Shape of You,’ both of which came out on January 6th, and he followed those up with ‘How Would You Feel (Paen)’ on February 16th. All of these songs are outstanding, but ’Shape of You’ has experienced the most success. It debuted at the number one position on numerous music charts, including iTunes and the Billboard Hot 100, and has held that position since. This is a truly impressive feat for any song, and it can only mean good things for the rest of the album.
Sheeran might be one of the most talented musicians of the decade, so his long hiatus was a big disappointment for many. His rise to fame came with the release of ‘The A Team’ off of the album ‘+’. The melancholy ballad took the world by surprise and won Sheeran a massive following of diehard fans. That was in September of 2011, and his popularity has only increased since. ‘+’ went on to have great success, selling two million copies in both the US and UK and becoming the sixth best selling album of the decade so far (as of 2015).
Sheeran then went on another hiatus (are we starting to see a pattern here?) until 2014, when he released ‘x’, which experienced similar success. It sold four million copies in the US alone and reached the top of charts in dozens of countries, including the US, UK, and Australia. Like ‘+’, ‘x’ became one of the biggest selling albums of the decade (also as of 2015), reaching the number five spot on the chart. ‘+’ and ‘x’ are in good company, sharing the top of the list with the likes of Adele’s ‘21’ and Coldplay’s ‘Mylo Xyloto,’ and they both outrank countless other albums that were released years before Sheeran even began releasing music.
Given Sheeran’s track record, fans are in for a treat with ‘Divide.’ His trend of three-year hiatuses has proven effective so far, and given the singles that have been released already, he will continue to impress.
‘Castle on a Hill’ is a tribute to Sheeran’s upbringing in the British countryside. It is an uptempo song in which Sheeran tells stories from his childhood, ranging from breaking his leg when he was six to “smoking hand-rolled cigarettes” at the age of fifteen.
‘Shape of You’ takes a slightly different turn, telling the story of meeting a girl at a bar and falling in love, not just emotionally, but physically as well. This song is a bit of a change in comparison to Sheeran’s earlier work. Notoriously known as Mr. Nice-Guy, he proves people wrong with this lustful record.
‘How Would You Feel (Paen)’ goes back to Sheeran’s roots. An acoustic-driven love song, Sheeran implores, “How would you feel, if I told you I loved you?” This is the Sheeran that fans grew to love at the beginning of his career, and while songs like ‘Shape of You’ are a refreshing change, it is good for him to return to where he started from time to time.
With March 3rd less than a week away, keep your eye out for any news regarding Ed Sheeran and his new album, ‘Divide,’ and be sure to give it a listen when it finally does release.