Ed Sheeran has finally unveiled two new singles after a year-long break in the form of 'Shape Of You' and 'Castle On The Hill'. He had teased the releases first with a blank blue background, then with a video on Twitter in which he stated 'New music coming Friday', followed by a snippet of the lyrics from both songs. 

Ed SheeranEd Sheeran to return with a brand new album

The official lyric videos for the songs were unveiled today (January 6th 2017). They are his first releases since 2015 single 'Photograph' as the star has been on a 12-month hiatus. 'Castle On The Hill' is a soaring nostalgic ballad about finally getting to return home, while 'Shape Of You' is a much more stripped back, seductive number about flirting with women in bars.

'Cause I've been away for a bit here's two singles rather than one', he wrote on Twitter.

They are the first two singles from his newly announced third studio album 'Divide', the release date of which is yet to be announced. Little other information is known about the new project, apart from the fact that it has been produced by Steve Mac and Snow Patrol's Johnny McDaid, the latter of whom also worked on Sheeran's 2014 sophomore album 'X' ('Multiply'). 

We haven't seen much of the star over the last year, aside from in the songwriting credits for the song 'Cold Water' by Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber and MØ, Robbie Williams' 'Pretty Woman' and 'The X Factor' winner Matt Terry's holiday anthem 'When Christmas Comes Around'. He also had a cameo in the film 'Bridget Jones's Baby' alongside Renee Zellweger. 

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But other than that, he has gone under the radar for a well-earned break. In December 2015 he left a message for his fans reading: 'Hello all. I'm taking a break from my phone, emails and all social media for a while. I've had such an amazing ride over the last 5 years but I find myself seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes so I'm taking this opportunity of me not having to be anywhere or do anything to travel the world and see everything I've missed.'

'Divide' will be released sometime in 2017 via Atlantic and Asylum Records.