Ed Sheeran’s fans got a late holiday present from the singer-songwriter late Thursday night when the Brit unveiled two new singles: “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill.”
The songs — “Shape,” with its tropical and tribal sounds, and “Castle,” with a driving pop beat — are a welcome return for Sheeran, who took a break from the spotlight and social media in December 2015, following the release of his last album, x, which debuted in 2014.
“I’ve been working hard on the new material and I hope you can be as excited about it as I am,” 25-year-old Sheeran addressed fans in a release. “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.”
He first announced new material earlier this week via Twitter, with a short video promising new music on Jan. 6. He continued to drop hints on social media, with tweets that presumably sampled lyrics, and one that simply read “÷,” likely the title of his new album. A small portion of the song could also be heard Thursday in a Snapchat lens.
“Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill” are available to stream and download from iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, and more. You can hear a preview of each track below.