Ed Sheeran drops new single “Afterglow” after year long break


Photo Credit: Photo by Drew_Gurian via Flickr under creative commons license

As an accomplishment, Ed Sheeran has spent 22 weeks on the Billboards top charts with Shape of You. He only has one Top Ten song on the billboards charts though.

By: Arianna Rose Angel

In entering the new year of 2021, music artists from all over the world will begin the process of creating new tracks and albums for their audience to enjoy. Although for British singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran, this was something he was already two steps ahead of. Now, after a year-long hiatus from the studio, Sheeran has rewarded his fans with a pre-holiday surprise track, titled Afterglow.

The Hiatus

Back in December of 2019, he had announced his interlude from music and social media, claiming that after his life-changing experience during the Divide era, it was time for him to focus on his personal life, including time to travel, read, and write, while also continued to tend to his loving wife of 10 months, Cherry Seaborn. As the timeline progressed, fans and media began to hear less and less from Sheeran. That was, until September 1st, 2020, when he returned bearing some wonderful news.

Welcoming Lyra

In his Instagram post, Sheeran revealed that he had become a father in the passing week. His wife had given birth to a beautiful baby girl, named Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran. The couple had claimed they were “already completely in love with her”. Sheeran also asked for the media’s respect for his privacy during this delightful time, which signaled to his fans that while he might be back on social media to share this sensational moment with them, he most likely won’t be active for long, which those reading understood without a question.

The Best Gift Ever

But then, it finally happened. December 20th, 2020, Sheeran teased a brand new music drop on his Instagram page. This post, captioned with the release time, was accompanied by another statement, reading “A Christmas present.” Fans immediately spiraled into a frantic excitement, awaiting this surprise gift, as Sheeran  informed fans that the song  would arrive the next day. There was very little leading up to the unveiling of the track, but fans still prepared for Sheeran’s shocking return.

And as day became night, Afterglow became available worldwide and spread faster than a wildfire. Sheeran wrote the single a year before, according to the caption. Also in the caption, it read that Afterglow was not a first track off of an upcoming album. Yet, this didn’t make it any less exciting for his fanbase. The song is a solely acoustic anthem, lovesick and heartwarming as Sheeran takes you into the depths of his heart.  

Tough Crowd

Although, while this drop proved to be the first after some time, fan base members remained unimpressed. Audience members used words such as “Forgettable,” “Nothing Extraordinary,” and “A little boring” to describe the track. So, some fans set high expectations that only lead to disappointment. However, on the other side of that, others enjoy the gentle version of the Brit’s music. Quoting this side of the base, they said they “Enjoy this side of him more.” So, the overall review around this song would land somewhere along a 50/50 line.

I personally enjoy this song very much. Acoustic sessions had always had a tendency to spark my interest. So After I began to hear afterglow stream radio-wise. I took it upon myself to depict the song’s attributes. To be honest, I can’t say I was disappointed. The song has a beautiful melody, and definitely a song I would recommend. And while some fans may be disappointed, we also have to remember that Sheeran has a family to tend to. Sometimes, family comes first, especially when there’s a new addition to his life, like his newborn daughter.  

One way or another, Afterglow is a stunning single that left the media speechless as Sheeran slowly returns from his temporary hiatus.  What wonderful tune to bring with us into the new year!