While many of you were likely still tucked up in bed, UK pop icon Ed Sheeran dropped not one but two brand new tracks, kickstarting what may well prove to be the biggest return of 2017.
Sheeran revealed last week that he would be delivering new music. And at 5am this morning he delivered on his promise with Shape Of You and Castle On The Hill. Both tracks are available now on iTunes, Spotify and Apple Music. There are also official lyric videos for each on YouTube.
In keeping with the theme of mathematical symbols present on previous albums X and +, the accompanying artworks for Shape Of You and Castle On The Hill combine to create divide symbol on a blue background.
At time of writing, the R&B-tinged Shape Of You has so far had 479,088 views on YouTube and is already at No.1 on the iTunes US sales chart, while stadium-sized, U2-esque anthem Castle On The Hill has amassed 457,895 views on YouTube and is at No.2 on the US iTunes chart. Both tracks are released on Asylum Records.
Speaking about his return to music, Sheeran said: “Hello 2017! I’ve been working hard on the new material and I hope you can be as excited about it as I am. I really wanted to show two different sides to my music that I’m equally as passionate about and I just knew I wanted to roll with two songs at the same time. I’m absolutely buzzing to be back.”
In addition to dropping two new tracks, Sheeran will also be co-hosting the Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Scott Mills from 7am.
Despite taking a year off from releasing music and touring, Sheeran penned two of 2016’s biggest tracks – Major Lazer’s Cold Water and Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself.
While details of Sheeran’s new album have yet to be revealed, it’s safe to assume his next record will be one of the year’s biggest releases. His 2011 debut + has gone seven times platinum and has so far racked up sales of 2,126,781, while 2014 follow-up X is nine times platinum on sales of 2,898,433. Both albums reached the top of the UK chart.