BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
After ducking out of the spotlight for most of 2016, Ed Sheeran has returned.
The raffishly charming Brit dropped new music slightly after midnight – the soaring, anthemic “Castle on the Hill” and the gently percolating “Shape of You” – his first new music since 2015 (not counting his writing credits on Major Lazer’s “Cold Water” and the Justin Bieber’s Grammy-nominated “Love Yourself”).
Sheeran said in a statement: “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.”
The songs can be downloaded and streamed here and you can check out their lyric videos below.
Sheeran’s second album, 2014’s “x,” sold nearly 2 million copies in the U.S. and spawned the ubiquitous hits, “Thinking Out Loud,” “Photograph,” “Sing” and “Don’t.”
His new record, “÷” (pronounced “divide”), is scheduled for release this year.
Listen to “Castle on the Hill”
And “Shape of You”