Ed Sheeran is set to release his first new music since 2015 at the end of this week.
After a year’s break from social media, the singer returned to Twitter on December 13 by posting an unaccompanied image of a blue square. The post has since had 126,000 retweets,
On January 1, he took to the platform again, tweeting the words ‘Hello 2017…’ accompanied by a silent video in which he waves at the camera while holding a piece of paper reading ‘New music coming Friday!!’ in his other hand.
Then, on January 2, another video was uploaded, this time featuring the symbol ‘÷’ which many fans have interpreted as a suggestion of the title of his next album, following predecessors ‘+’ (2011) and ‘x’ (2014). The words ‘6th January 5am GMT | midnight ET x’ accompanied the video.
Yesterday (January 3) he posted another clip during which the words ‘When I was six years old I broke my leg’ flash up on a blue background. It is unclear whether this represents the title or lyrics of any forthcoming release, but the flurry of posts has provoked an inevitable buzz.
Sheeran’s return to social media comes exactly a year after he shared a statement saying he was “taking a break from my phone, emails and all social media for a while” because he had started “seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes”. “The third album is on its way and is the best thing I have made thus far. See you all next autumn, and thank you for being amazing,” he added.
There have been rumbles from the Sheeran camp for a while now, and betting was suspended on the singer headlining Glastonbury Festival in November amidst swirling rumours.
Sheeran also co-wrote X Factor winner Matt Terry’s debut single When Christmas Comes Around with collaborator Amy Wadge. Wadge recently told BBC Newsbeat that Sheeran’s third album is “done” and will be released “really soon”.
Released in September 2011, + has so far sold 2,126,781 copies, while x, which followed in June 2014 has 2,898,433 sales. Sheeran’s last single as a lead artist was 2015’s Photograph, which has figures of 1,098,345. During the same year, he featured on albums by The Weeknd and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and singles by Rudimental and Reuf.