It is January 6, 2017 and Ed Sheeran has finally come back to us.
On January 1st, Ed released a video of himself waving to the camera and holding a piece of paper that told us we'd be getting new music on Friday. And the world shifted. Since then, he has released a new video every day to prepare us for his return. Whether it be a video of lyrics but no sound or sound but no words, these videos have been the highlight of my day. And I'm sure the highlight of many others around the world.
When Ed posted the picture of the color blue on December 13th, my whole world turned that color. I knew something was coming soon but I didn't realize how soon it would be. Everyone says that a new year is a new chapter in your life... And it makes my heart so happy that this chapter started with Ed Sheeran's words, his voice, his passion.
And now here we are. It is 12:50 in the morning and I have had his 2 singles on loop since I pressed play at midnight. The two songs are called "Shape of You" and "Castle on the Hill" and they are so different that you might find it hard to believe that they were born on the same album. That's the beauty of Ed. His music is a kaleidoscope of colors. He is able to capture feelings and moments in his music at a level that I personally don't believe many other artists have reached yet.
"Shape of You" opens and immediately makes you bob your head. No matter where you are, you're transported to a dimly lit room with an undertone of reds and purples. It makes you want to put on your best, grab your friends, and take on the night. The song is unique and has a beat that will entice you and stay in your head for days and days. And it's not a bad thing.
"Castle on the Hill" made me cry as soon as it started. This song is nostalgia and summer days and growth and in the moment all wrapped up in 4 minutes and 21 seconds. This song paints a picture so vivid that it puts you in Ed's mind. At the same time, though, it is incredibly universal. No matter where you are in life, this song will make you remember a time that was so long yet so fleeting that feels so far away and yet will never leave you. It makes you want to get in a car, roll the windows down, put this song on blast, and drive with no direction and no care in the world.
I'm not a music expert and this is not an official or professional review. I'm simply someone who loves Ed. I'm someone who appreciates his work and his passion and likes to show my gratitude for his art through my own. Whoever you are, go and listen to these two songs. Make a crappy day a better one. Let your hair down, kick off your shoes, dance around or shout the lyrics while tears stream down your face (I may have done all of the above in the last hour).
Ed Sheeran is officially back. And these two singles are fresh and new but still have that special and magical Ed touch stitched in. He is an artist who means the world to me. He is an important artist to the music industry. He lets us into his world and it's a world that I could live in forever.
So whether "Shape of You" is more your jam or "Castle on the Hill" is much more your style, we can all agree on one thing; both of these songs are going to blow our minds live.
Ed has certainly raised the bar for 2017 incredibly high.
Here's to the rest of "Divide"-- waiting to hit us in all the right musical places.