Ed Sheeran has released fresh music for the first time in more than a year.
The British singer-songwriter, 29, broke his almost 18-month hiatus on Monday with the release of his melancholy new track “Afterglow.”
“Hey guys. Afterglow is a song I wrote last year that I wanted to release for you,” Sheeran wrote on his Instagram Monday morning. “It’s not the first single from the next album, it’s just a song I love, and hope you love too. Enjoy ! Have a safe and happy festive break and New Year’s. Back to dad land for me now, ciao x.”
The post, which featured a clip from the track’s music video, had already racked up more than 1.9 million views as of Monday morning.
Sheeran last released new music in July 2019 with his fourth album, the star-studded “No. 6 Collaborations Project,” which featured artists including Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper and Cardi B.
In August of 2019, Sheeran made a surprise announcement that he’d be taking a break from music following two years of touring. “There is something very bittersweet about it,” he said at the time. “I love that you guys are here and we are ending it in Ipswich. This is my last gig for probably 18 months.”
Shortly thereafter Sheeran announced he’d also be taking a hiatus from social media, so he could “actually have something to write about,” he explained last December. He also admitted that he had recently found his life overwhelming, that it had been “a bit nonstop, so I’m just gonna take a breather.”
He gave fans his word that the break would not be forever. “I’ll be off all social media until it’s time to come back,” he assured his audience. “I promise to be back with some new music when the time is right.”