Kate Martin welcomes Ed Sheeran's long-awaited return to music.
Following a year of inactivity, the guitar playing ginger that is Ed Sheeran has finally broken his silence. To the delight of millions, as of 5am, January 6th, the award winning artist released not one but two brand new singles. Totally different from one another, they are "Shape of You" and "Castle on the Hill."
 
Initially breaking his social silence December 13th, exactly 1 year since his last post, social platform photos were changed to the same sky blue background that appears on the artwork for the brand new singles. This was soon followed by a cheeky video New Year’s Day of the man himself holding a hand written sign reading: "New Music Coming Friday!!"
 
There were teasers all over the place, sneak peaks of lyrics but no sound earlier in the week, followed by short clips of the songs appearing on Thursday. Sheeran was even given a Snapchat filter dedicated to the first verse of "Shape of You."
 
As for the songs, both are definitely very good and more than fitting for the pop charts of today. "Castle on the Hill" has stuck a bit more to Ed's roots however, "Shape of You,” is completely different to the artist's usual guitar based style. This is not necessarily a bad thing, every artist needs to spice things up every once in a while. It goes without saying the charts have changed significantly since Sheeran’s last appearance in 2014. Here’s to hoping however that Ed does not sell himself out for the sake of remaining popular.
 
“Castle on the Hill,” more upbeat than the likes of "Photograph" and "Thinking out Loud," still maintains Ed's beautiful storytelling quality just created for a pop genre rather than his typical ballad. This song is a powerful portrayal of Sheeran's past and his memories, something in which every listener can relate to. The simple yet memorable track is a perfect match for the lyrics, working together with the possibility of a No.1 hit.
 
"Shape of You," on the other hand, vaguely similar to previous hits, “Don’t” and “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” is significantly different to the majority of Ed's previous work. The extremely catchy beat and chorus are sure to be a winner. Already dominating the charts with radio stations playing it multiple times since its release, the track is bound to be huge for Sheeran. What a way to kick off 2017. Unlike the other, this single tells the story of finding love at the bar and ultimately falling in love with their body. A fun and upbeat track, this is an interesting change from Ed's usual ways.
 
It is clear form these two singles that Ed Sheeran is taking his music in a new direction. Will he stray too far from his roots? Will it be the step he needs in order to further his career? All will be revealed come the release of his 12 track album, "Divide" on the 3rd of March.