'Divide' includes new singles 'Shape Of You' and 'Castle On The Hill'
It’s been three years since Ed Sheeran‘s last album ‘x’ (‘Multiply’) was released. Sheeran’s new album ‘÷’ (‘Divide’) isn’t far off. The Framlingham man released two record-breaking singles at the start of the year, another one in mid-February, and has also been heavily rumoured to play a headline slot at Glastonbury Festival in June following his tour of Europe and South America. Here’s what we know about the album and forthcoming tour to date – we’ll update this page as we learn more.
When is Ed Sheeran’s new album released?
Yep – just a few weeks until ‘÷’ is released.
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What new Ed Sheeran songs are out?
Right now there are three. The most recent one is called ‘How Would You Feel (Paean)’
It’s “not the next single”, says Ed, but he released it anyway – at midnight on February 17, 2017 – to celebrate his 26th birthday. He calls it “one of my favzzzzz”. You can listen to it below.
How Would You Feel (Paean), a song by Ed Sheeran on Spotify
The first two songs were both released at once on January 6, 2017.
On their release he said: “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.”
Here’s the rollicking nostalgia trip that is ‘Castle on the Hill’. Watch out for the falsetto whoops:
And here’s the syncopated, synthy jam ‘Shape of You’:
This one’s a bit more of a departure for Sheeran. He has revealed he wrote it with Snow Patrol‘s Johnny McDaid and pop producer Steve Mac, and that they started writing it with Rihanna in mind but never sent her the song: “I started writing lyrics like ‘putting Van the Man on the juke box’ and thought ‘she’s not really going to sing that’. We decided halfway through that this would work for me.”
The reaction to the new music has been extremely positive. It smashed the record for one-day Spotify streams by more than 2 million streams (the previous record holder was One Direction‘s ‘Drag Me Down’, with 4,759,698 streams – ‘Shape of You’ got 6,868,642, while ‘Castle on the Hill’ got 6,168,395).
One Direction’s Niall Horan has since called ‘Castle on the Hill’ “My kind of song… reminds me of home”, while Taylor Swift reacted to ‘Shape of You’ with the below Instagram post:
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Has Ed released any new videos?
Yes – two so far.
‘Castle On The Hill’ got a video on January 23 – the nostalgic clip was shot in Sheeran’s hometown of Framlingham, Suffolk. Take it all in:
One week later, on January 30, ‘Shape Of You’ got the video treatment too. Ed stars as loved-up amateur boxer, there’s a Rocky-style montage sequence, and at the end he gets trounced by a sumo wrestler. It’s quite a ride.
What else can we expect from the album?
One clue we have is that it won’t be like Justin Bieber‘s ‘Love Yourself’. Confused? Well, Sheeran originally wrote ‘Love Yourself’ – which became a mega-hit for Justin Bieber – for ‘÷’. “It just wouldn’t have made it [onto ‘÷’]” he’s revealed. Either that means the new songs are way better than ‘Love Yourself’, or that they’re just very different.
Sheeran says his grandmother passed her love of music onto him and his brother Matt, who’s an award-winning classical composer. ‘Supermarket Flowers’, the final track on his album, is reportedly a tribute to her. He told The Sun: “That was the day my gran passed away. I was at my home. It’s just a knee-jerk reaction. You can be really upset and dwell on something or you can put all the good memories in one song. I just wanted to make a tribute to my gran. She was the musical one in my family.”
For the first time on one of his own records, Sheeran has produced a song. He told LA station 97.1 AMP, “It’s not a single, but it is going to be released in a single format so hopefully it’s going to be out on iTunes. It’s called ‘How Would You Feel’ and it’s a song that I wrote and produced myself. I had produced the Hobbit song, but this is the first time I’ve produced anything on my own record and I hope people like it.” If you don’t remember what Ed’s Hobbit song ‘I See Fire’ sounded like, listen here.
There’s also a new song about Barcelona that Ed wrote with Foy Vance. Ed says, “I love Barcelona so I wrote a love song for Barcelona.” There’s a bit of cod-Spanish in it too, he says, telling The Sun, “It doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s just the Spanish words I know put together. There’s one line where I say ‘Siempre Vivre La Barcelona,’ which is actually Latin I think, but it just sounded cool. It means ‘long live Barcelona.'”
Ed’s revealed he’s very ambitious with sales for ‘÷’, telling GQ: “Adele is the one person who’s sold more records than me in the past 10 years. She’s the only person I need to sell more records than. That’s a big f***ing feat because her last album sold 20 million. But if I don’t set her as the benchmark then I’m selling myself short.”
What’s the tracklist for Ed Sheeran’s new album?
‘÷’ has 12 tracks.
Sheeran shared the tracklist on Instagram on January 11. You can see the titles below, along with the Instagram post:
‘Castle On The Hill’
‘Shape Of You’
‘Hearts Don’t Break Around Here’
‘What Do I Know?’
‘How Would You Feel (Paean)’
What are Ed Sheeran’s tour dates in 2017?
The tour begins on March 17 in Turin, Italy. For the main part of his tour, Ed will arrive in the UK & Ireland in April, with 12 dates so far announced, but he’s also doing a one-off date at the end of March as part of the Teenage Cancer Trust’s gigs at the Royal Albert Hall.
For his tour, it’s rumoured that James Blunt will feature – a source has told The Sun that “Ed and James have a real laugh together” and “It’ll be proper madness on tour.” They added: “James has a good following in the US so he’ll also play some gigs too, acting as a support for his mate. When you spend so much time on the road it’s always handy to be in good company, and James certainly fits into that category.”
Whether or not he’s joined by Blunt, Ed’s UK tour will culminate in two shows at London’s O2, before he heads over to North and South America. It’s rumoured that Sheeran will headline Glastonbury at the end of June, and he’s recently been confirmed to play the BRIT Awards on February 22 alongside the likes of The 1975, Skepta, Robbie Williams, Bruno Mars and Little Mix.
Turin, Italy – Pala Alpitour (Fri 17)
Zurich, Switzerland – Hallenstadion, (Sun 19)
Munich, Germany – Olympiahalle (Mon 20)
Mannheim, Germany – SAP-Arena (Wed 22)
Cologne, Germany – Lanxess Arena (Thu 23)
Hamburg, Germany – Barclaycard Arena (Sun 26)
Berlin, Germany – Mercedes Benz Arena (Mon 27)
London, UK – Royal Albert Hall (Tue 28)
Stockholm, Sweden – Ericsson Globen (Thu 30)
Herning, Denmark – Jyske Bank Boxen (Sat 1)
Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Ziggo Dome (Mon 3 & Tue 4)
Antwerp, Belgium – Sportpaleis (Wed 5)
Paris, France – Accor Hotels Arena (Thu 6)
Madrid, Spain – WiZenk Center (Sat 8)
Barcelona, Spain – Palau San Jordi (Sun 9)
Dublin, Ireland – 3 Arena (Wed 12 & Thu 13)
Glasgow, UK – SSE Hydro (Sun 16 & Mon 17)
Newcastle, UK – Metro Radio Arena (Wed 19 & Thu 20)
Manchester, UK – Arena (Sat 22 & Sun 23)
Nottingham, UK – Motorpoint Arena (Tue 25 & Wed 26)
Birmingham, UK – Barclaycard Arena (Fri 28 & Sat 29)
London, UK – The O2 (Mon 1 & Tue 2)
Lima, Peru – Estadio Nacional (Sat 13)
Santiago, Chile – Movistar Arena (Mon 15)
Buenos Aires, Argentina – Estadio Unico De La Plata (Sat 20)
Curitiba, Brazil – Pedreira Paulo Leminsky (Tue 23)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Rio Arena (Thu 25)
Sao Paulo, Brazil – Allianz Parque (Sun 28)
Belo Horizonte, Brazil – Esplanada Do Mineirao (Tue 30)
Bogota, Colombia – Parque Simon Bolivar (Fri 2)
San Juan, Puerto Rico – Coliseo De Puerto Rico (Sun 4)
San Jose, Costa Rica – Parque Viva Amphitheater (Tue 6)
Mexico City, Mexico – Palacio De Los Deportes (Sat 10)
Guadalajara, Mexico – Arena VFG (Mon 12)
Monterrey, Mexico – Auditorio Citibanamex (Wed 14)
How can I get Ed Sheeran tickets?
Tickets for Ed’s tour went on sale on February 2 and sold out very, very quickly. In a statement from a press representative he explained he is “vehemently opposed to the unethical practices that occur in the secondary market,” adding: “We have written to each of our partners, be they promoters, venues or ticketing companies detailing the way in which we expect tickets to be sold: direct to fans. We have also partnered with a company called Twickets, which is a site aimed at the ethical resale of tickets. It allows fans to swap tickets at face value or less; we are pushing them as the official resale partner and a safe place for fans to swap tickets.” See Ed Sheeran’s Twickets ticket resale page here. And, if you’re desperate for a live Ed fix, see a clip of him playing the Grammys, on February 12, below: