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When Ed Sheehan, best-known for his single “Thinking Out Loud,” announced he was taking a break from music in December 2015, we hoped he was kidding. But, bar picking up the odd Grammy and contributing a song to the Bridget Jones’s Baby soundtrack, he’s kept his word.

There’s been little sign of him for over a year, until Sunday (January 1), that is, when he posted a brief clip promising new music this Friday.

Well, Friday (January 6) has dawned, and sure enough we’ve been treated to not one but two new tracks — his first new studio recordings since his album X in 2014.

Sheeran released the tracks late last night on multiple streaming and download services, commenting: “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.”

And though he said he’d be using his year off to “travel the world,” if new track “Castle on the Hill” is anything to go by, he didn’t get very far.

Introducing his new music personally on Radio 1’s Breakfast Show, Sheeran described the track as a “love song” to his home county of Suffolk, England:

And while “Castle on the Hill” is a Springsteen-esque homage to the village he grew up in, “Shape of You” is a return to more familiar territory, crossing dancehall influences with a minimal R&B sound.

Needless to say fans — or Sheerios, to give them their proper name — were overjoyed with the comeback. Not surprisingly, the hashtag #WelcomeBackEd is quickly trending.

What do you think of Ed’s new tracks?

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Filed Under: Ed Sheeran
By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.