Music Review: Ed Sheeran's 'Divide' teaser
Ed Sheeran releases two new tracks: “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill”
I was more than excited to find out that Ed Sheeran released 2 songs teasing his much awaited album ‘Divide’ which follows the mathematical labels of his previous two albums; both songs were arranged to be released together and have very opposite beats and meaning.
“Shape of You” is a more upbeat tune that veers away from his acoustic love songs, and jumps on to his tendencies to make music with beats that loop. This song was cleverly marketed through a snapchat filter where users face is covered with the trendy John Lennon-style glasses and blurry rainbow lights and the first few lyrics, which are quite clever wording if you listening closely.
The electro-pop tune is about being in to the physical appearance of someone and the satisfaction they give, along with who the person is. Fun fact, this was originally meant for Rihanna.
A club indeed isn’t the best place to find a lover, though.
‘Castle on the Hills’ is simply a song about his hometown in Suffolk, following a similar age recount as Lukas Graham’s ‘7 Years’ where they look back at how they’ve grown. The tune is categorized as a non-mainstream genre of pop rock and folk pop, calming genres, if I may say. His raw vocals are coupled with what sounds like a drum, and his well-known acoustic touch.
“I’m on my way
Driving at 90 down those country lanes
Singing to ‘Tiny Dancer’
And I miss the way you make me feel, and it’s real
We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill”
This gives me daydreams of coming back home and being reckless with loved ones, gathering at the one place we call ours, the one place we feel peaceful, the one place that is forever special. For Sheeran, there was a literal castle in Suffolk called ‘Framlingham Castle’ which is a gorgeous 12th century fortress. It also depicts his connection with his hometown, the very place he built childhood memories and gained and lost friends as he grew.
He also refers to Elton John’s 1971 tune ‘Tiny Dancer’, a love song originally written for someone else’s future wife; it’s just as sweet and beautiful as common Ed Sheeran songs, accompanied by a simple piano and worth listening to.
In the first verse up to the second pre-chorus, Sheeran recounts the various stages he experienced growing up in Framlingham: breaking his leg running from bullies, breaking his heart after a first love, smoking cigarettes like rebels and getting his first kiss. My favourite part was the bridge where he sings of the reality that he is in, that youth doesn’t last and everyone else has taken their own path. But regardless, they are the ones who made him who he is now, and he still can’t wait to be around them.
“One’s already on his second wife
One’s just barely getting by
But these people raised me
And I can’t wait to go home”
The nostalgic tune is a perfect love song to the places, experiences and the people who built him into who he is. I don’t think there’s anything else that makes me miss home more than this.