On Jan. 1, Ed Sheeran released a video via Instagram letting the world know that he would release new music on Friday, Jan. 6 and the Internet took notice. Sheeran released two singles, “Castle on the Hill” and “Shape of You” that are a part of his new album titled “Divide.”
The new songs continue to have that Ed Sheeran rap/sing vibe that audiences cannot get enough of, but with a new edge. Both songs are more upbeat than his past singles like “Thinking Out Loud” or “Photograph.” According to Spotify and iTunes, “Shape of You” has been more popular than both, amassing more downloads and purchases. The opening of “Shape of You” sounds much like Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” with the solo beat which then leads into Sheeran’s sweet voice. The bridge was a nice change from the pop feel of the song when he sings three-part harmony accompanied by clapping and his acoustic guitar.
The second song, “Castle on the Hill” is more reminiscent of his previous work. He sings “I miss the way you make me feel. It’s real when we watched the sun set over the castle on the hill,” possibly writing about an old romance that he wishes would start up again. Both songs have a Mumford and Sons folk sounds, as well as uplifting beats that sound similar to Coldplay.
I’ve always appreciated Sheeran’s acoustic folk sound with the subtle pop spin and the raspy notes he occasionally hits. He keeps those roots in these songs, but they do lean more to the pop genre in my opinion. Out of the two, I like “Castle on the Hill” more because I felt it had more of that classic “Ed feel.” Every artist has the freedom to mix things up, but it makes me wonder if he wanted it or if he was pressured to create another Top Billboard hit. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I could stand to listen to both songs multiple times and played them on repeat while writing this, so I think it is safe to say he will have more hits in his future.
Sheeran’s new album comes a year after he announced to fans that he was taking a break from social media and that new music was on its way. This is his third full-length album following “Plus” and “Multiply.” The entire album will be released on March 3.