Ed Sheeran releases two new tracks to mark his return to music

By Nesta McGregor
Newsbeat entertainment reporter

image copyrightGetty Images

Ed Sheeran has released two new songs, Castle on the Hill and Shape of You, to mark his return to music.

The 25-year-old said the double release was "'cause I have been away for a bit".

In December 2015, the singer announced he'd be taking a break from music so he could "travel the world and see everything I missed."

The tracks are taken from his forthcoming album, which is called ÷ (Divide).

He's clearly maintaining the maths symbol themed album names. His first was called + (Plus), while his second album was called x (Multiply).

The songs, which were released at 5am GMT, also sparked #WelcomeBackEd.

Speaking on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, Ed said: "Castle on the Hill is a love song for Suffolk because I don't think anyone has ever done that.

"I've shot the music video actually in Suffolk and the cast of it are people from my high school.

"The main guy who looks just like me is weirdly from my sixth form."

Ed Sheeran told Scott Mills that he originally wanted to release new music in September 2016 but held back because it's a really busy period for releasing music.

"The funny thing is while I have music waiting to be released I usually end up playing it to random people.

"Normally when I've been out drinking I'll be like, 'Hey mate do you want to hear my new song?' that happens a lot."

Ed Sheeran says the album was recorded while he was travelling which meant him having to build a studio on a ship.

He said: "My biggest fan base is in the Philippines and everyone that worked on the ship was Filipino. So I spent the trip taking pictures and signing stuff."

Singer Shawn Mendes, Friends star Courtney Cox and presenter Ryan Seacrest have all given the thumbs up to Ed's new sound.

Talking about the single, Shape of You, the singer says he wrote the song with Rihanna in mind.

"But then I was singing some of the lyrics and was like Rihanna is not going to sing these words so kept it to myself," he laughed.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionEd Sheeran's x tour took him around the world

Ed Sheeran has penned tracks for One Direction, Taylor Swift and Olly Murs and says after one writing session he gave X Factor boss Simon Cowell a call.

"As soon as I finished with, When Christmas Comes Around, I thought this sounds like an X Factor song."

The track was recorded by the eventual winner of the show Matt Terry.

As well as using social media to tease the release Ed Sheeran has also become the first artist to have a Snapchat filter dedicated to his new music.

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