By: Shane Embury
Student Life Editor
Ed Sheeran surprised his fans on January 6 when the pop singer-songwriter released two new tracks preceding his surprise album “Divide,” denoted with ‘÷,’ which follows the theme of his 2011 album “Plus,” ‘+,’ and his 2014 album “Multiply,” ‘x.’ Since December of 2016, Sheeran has been dropping hints and teasers on social media that have led up to this revival of his music career.
After Sheeran’s year-long music and social media hiatus, fans were quick to respond to the release of the two new songs, and they took to Spotify to show their appreciation. “Shape of You,” an upbeat pop song with a subtle hint of R&B, got 6.87 million streams on Spotify within the first 24 hours, and “Castle on the Hill,” an uplifting tribute to Sheeran’s hometown, got 6.17 million. Both songs smashed the record for single-day streams, which was previously held by One Direction’s “Drag Me Down” when the hit got 4.76 million streams.
After only one week, the numbers raised even more for Sheeran’s two newest singles. “Castle on the Hill” boasted 37 million streams on Spotify and 31 million views on YouTube, while “Shape of You” reached an astonishing 54.4 million streams and 39.9 million views.
“I really enjoyed ‘Castle on the Hill,’” said sophomore Jordan Lyons, “because I felt like there was raw emotion behind it of someone who needed a reminder of what it was like to be young and free of the constraints of time.”
These two songs were just a preview to the full album, Division, which is available on March 3. The album contains “Castle on the Hill” and “Shape of You,” as well as 10 other unheard tracks that Sheeran revealed via Twitter on January 11. These songs include “Eraser,” “Dive,” “Perfect,” “Galway Girl,” “Happier,” “Hearts Don’t Break Around Here,” “New Man,” “What Do I Know?,” “How Would You Feel (Paean)” and “Supermarket Flowers.”
“I’ve always been a fan of Ed Sheeran, so I’m very excited for the album,” said sophomore Olivia Manning.
Sheeran has not yet revealed tour dates and venues for “Division.”