Beauty in art lies in consistently perfecting one’s craft, and even reinventing oneself to maintain a fresh and original take on what’s already been accomplished in the past. Ed Sheeran has clearly taken these tenets to heart in his return to the music world following a two-year hiatus. The musician’s new direction is a bit of a departure from his original style, to say the least. Primarily known for crooning – and, sometimes, rapping – over smooth guitar ballads, the acoustic superstar first experimented with more of a hip-hop oriented direction in recent years, with tracks like “Don’t” and “The Man.”

However, the ruddy-haired serenader’s two newest tracks, “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill,” indicate that he’s exploring more electronic inspirations. “Shape of You” is a particularly stark contrast to the singer’s typically wistful style. Taking on a synth-oriented melodic arrangement paired with dancehall-inspired rhythms, Sheeran belts out lyrics following a topic graced often in the pop world: being drawn to the body of his object of affection. The piece is certainly catchy and is likely to become a hit given current trends in the industry, but we can’t help but wonder what inspired the British artist to delve into such a field of music.

Meanwhile, “Castle In The Sky” also follows a notably softer layout more akin to what Sheeran’s created before, yet its overall vibe feels more Bastille than what we’ve heard in the past. Regardless, both singles were created with the precision of a highly skilled artist, and we’re curious to see what else he will bring to the table as the new year progresses.

Listen to both songs below:

H/T: Mashable

Featured image by Jedd Lopez

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