By Rebecca Belbin
Back in 2015, Sheeran shook the music industry after he announced via Twitter to his 15 million followers that he would be taking a year out from releasing new music, stepping out of the limelight and just generally working on himself for a bit, getting off his phone and travelling the world along the way.
Speaking to Australian TV show The Project on Monday, the 25-year-old said it was “lukewarm” reactions from fans that drove him to make this decision; where he felt people weren’t truly loving his new music in the same way they loved 2011 hits such as The A Team, Lego House and Drunk.
This mediocre reaction led to Ed spending time in Australia - renting a Mini and driving along the coast, avoiding relentless paparazzi along the way.
On his travels across the world, the Suffolk songwriter said he didn’t “miss singing” but certainly wasn’t unconfident in the direction his career would take after the hiatus.
His post on social media claimed his third album would be “the best thing I have made thus far” and after January’s release of two singles from his upcoming 2017 album ÷ it would certainly seem that Sheeran is set to make one hell of a comeback.
Shape of You and Castle On The Hill have been sitting pretty at the top of the UK charts for five weeks now and no other artist has entered the number one and number two spot for brand new tracks.
Combined, the songs have over 350 million streams on Spotify and the newly released music videos have over 100 million views on YouTube. These stats really speak for themselves and prove just how much people have been awaiting Sheeran’s massive comeback.
Shape Of You hits the dance genre perfectly, with a Sia-like vibe showcasing classic Sheeran vocals and very catchy hook.
It’s definitely the more popular single – it was written with Rihanna in mind – and certainly contains all the key ingredients needed to go straight to number one with it’s addictive tropical beat.
Castle On The Hill displays just how versatile Ed’s new album is going to be; sitting more in the soft rock genre, it is very classic Sheeran.
Telling the story of his teenage years, sweeping guitars carry the song through to the belter of a chorus.
It’s a real anthem that definitely hits a more niche market for Ed Sheeran fans; perhaps this is why it has seen slightly less success than Shape Of You.
With Sheeran’s two (very different) singles storming up the charts, it is clear his 12-track album featuring songs titled Eraser, Perfect and Supermarket Flowers is going to be full of sweet surprises that will hopefully lead up to expectations. With his newly released 2017 March – May European tour selling out in mere minutes, could this be his most successful album to date? There isn’t that much longer to wait now, as ÷ will be released on 3rd March.