OK so unless you’ve been living under a rock in which case welcome back, you would know Ed Sheeran has some new songs out. In fact his third album, stylised as the division symbol (Divide), came out yesterday, a 16 track epic.
I really like music and writing so I decided to review each track… I hope you like it!
1) Eraser is a song that left me openmouthed and a little emotionally confused. The lyrical sharpness was like glass and I felt like I kind of understood why Ed took a year off. It is white noise on edge anger simmering below the surface of a whiskey glass or behind a thin curtain of some other deadly vice that helps to numb the price of fame. It’s saying I’m fine but really rocking backwards and forwards within yourself on the floor in a mess of self doubt and regret and just…It’s raw honesty and pride and pretty lies that are more palatable than the harsh truths he delivers within the guise of a steely F64 stream of consciousness ‘what the hell am I doing?’It’s heads in hands and excess and the reality of dreams that were born from records and roadtrips and wondering how on earth you ended up here. It’s a little jaded but it’s also a red flag, the moments in life when your brain is steadily inching towards danger but is perhaps able to prevent itself from falling at the last second. It’s realising that perfection is not attainable and that everyone has scars but it’s also about learning to dance with the skeletons in your closet and beating a path for yourself no matter what.
2) Castle On The Hill sounds like its roots were tended by U2. It’s watching the sun rise from rooftops and rolling down hills. It’s playfights between couples where you laugh so hard you cry. It’s nostalgia and records and country lanes and cars and dancing in the rain. It’s holding hands and walking through villages where you know everyone by name. It’s cups of tea, nicknames and muddy English football matches. It’s board games and Sunday roasts and long kisses, leaning against brick walls. It’s radiant smiles and having a song and banter between friends. It’s falling in love hard and wholly where everything is like a film reel from a 50′s movie. It’s feeling infinite and having mates and loves who are forever.
3) Dive – I’m getting really big Stevie Wonder vibes. It’s bluesy with the hooked teeth of a guitar straight into your heart. It’s ragged desperate heartbreak and knowing you feel the stirrings of a person entering your inner world but being scared to jump over the cliff with them. It’s looking into their eyes after the beginnings of something that makes your heart race and saying “dammit I need to know you’re not going to break my heart.”
4) Shape Of You is all first dates and burning liquor and laughs in a crowded bar. It’s stumbling home through wet streets and slow dancing in the doorway. It’s hands in hair and running from a restaurant because you couldn’t pay. It’s watching the breaths of a lover in the dawn. It’s counting the freckles that adorn their stomach and back. It’s lingerie and home cooked meals and Netflix marathons and lazy Sundays when you realise you’ve fallen a little too far so all that you can do is keep falling hard.
5) Perfect is first dances and falling hard. It’s buying a ring because you look over one day and you think “If you walked away, my heart wouldn’t survive. I want to love you for every moment that I’m still alive (I’m writing this through a haze of emotion because this sums up every hope and dream I’ve ever had of the person who’ll love me despite all my hard stuff – wheelchair/anxiety/depression) This song is… true love. I’m going to go ahead and say that I think it’s true that that it’s better than Thinking Out Loud…
6) Galway Girl is Irish as hell. I like to think of it as a flashback to the beginning of the Perfect ^^^ love story. It’s catchy and makes me want to do a jig. It reminds me of my parents and my aunties and cousins and uncles and sisters. It’s a clan song. It’s a chance meeting and having pieces fall into place from the very first day. (UPDATE: It’s #1 in Ireland right now!!!)
7) Happier – AARGH. This is every feeling ever when the person you love even if only from afar seems happier with someone that isn’t you and you know you could do a better job but they might never look your way… I’ll be here, waiting always.
8) New Man is a bit of 90′s R & B vibes. It’s a hip hop infused ode for what happens when the person who was a part of your heart comes running to you when a new relationship starts. It’s watching them change in front of your eyes for other guys (or girls) and it’s realising you don’t know who a person is anymore. It’s waves of history breaking upon a foreign shore. It’s losing maps to people you thought you knew like the back of your hand… It’s realising that they still want you in a way but it’s too late.
9) Hearts Don’t Break Around Here is “Yes I’m in love and I want to shout from the rooftops.” It’s the little moments of a couple’s relationship. It’s realising that you’ll look to every day of growing old and the love story you get to live. All I can say is Jesus Christ Cherry, he loves you and it makes me so happy ❤️
10) What Do I Know is Ed’s way of saying Shit maybe they were right… that I saved 2017. He is bringing us all together, a crowd of colours and lives and lover types. No matter who you are, there’s a story on this album for you… It’s a carelessly casual man looking in, saying Stuff you, your walls will never keep us out. We’ll be screaming the words to this music, united and proud.
11) How Would You Feel is all butterflies and pure intoxicating love. It’s a girl wearing her boyfriend’s shirt and regular good morning texts. The soft secretive kisses in a car and casually intimate caresses. It’s meeting the family for the first time and imagining one of your own. It’s looking at a person off guard, saying “I love you” and feeling like that person’s your home.
12) Supermarket Flowers is about Ed’s maternal grandmother and it’s making me think of Nana who joined the angels three years ago and… 😭 I miss you so much. I hope you’d be proud of us x.
13) Barcelona is dancing it out with people who share your heart. It’s Spanish carnival Latin vibes. It makes me think of girls in deep red skirts and men with roses between their teeth. It’s music in your blood and floating away when you dance. It’s the magic moments of a party where you feel like moments could last forever. Who wants to meet me in Barcelona? 😜
14) Bibia Be Ye Ye gives me immediate carnival vibes. It’s infused with the melodies of Africa so I can only assume this was his Ghana project. It’s nights of madness and vibrant colours and familiar strangers who dance on tables and offer you liquor. It’s the feeling I get every time I go to a concert or to a new country, the ideas of exploration and self discovery and stories that will make you ache with laughter years later as you look back on the Polaroids.
15) Nancy Mulligan with its fiddles and it’s heart of true Irish blood makes me feel like I’m sitting at an impromptu gathering of musicians around my granny’s fire back home in Galway. It’s sepia photographs and wild cliffs and grandparents whose eyes shine with the fires of their youth as they tell you this story. It’s emerald hills and words in an ancient tongue. It’s a more modern Romeo & Juliet. It’s knowing that love transcends everything and you can have anything if you just have love.
16) Save Yourself has me gasping for air, my heart broken.
This song is all helping others only to have them treat you like you’re less than the dirt on their shoe. It has me thinking of savage wolves who want to tear you down but still expect you to smile. It’s despair and anxiety and depression with the quiet steady voice of strength that somehow by the tiniest of miracles keeps getting back up. It’s knowing you need to save yourself by loving all the broken parts of you but not really being sure how to do it.
I hope you guys liked my review!
If you still haven’t got enough of Ed and this masterpiece melting pot chameleon of an album, check out his 2 part in-depth interview with Kiwi DJ Zane Lowe of Beats 1, Apple Music:
If you’re looking for me this weekend, I’ll be listening to 16 tracks on repeat! I can’t wait for Divide shows to come Down Under… Maybe I’ll see you at a show?!