Some of 2017’s most anticipated releases are coming from English artists, including Coldplay, Laura Marling, Depeche Mode, Paloma Faith and Tears for Fears. Already, the xx has kicked off the year with a bold third album, I See You, that sees the acclaimed London band moving in more rhythmic, dance-oriented directions. Now two other English acts that fans have long been waiting for new music from are teasing their upcoming releases with singles. Ed Sheeran hasn’t had a new album since 2014’s bestselling X, while London Grammar has been quiet since making a big splash with its debut If You Wait in 2013.
“Shape of You”
Ed has thrilled fans by generously releasing not one but two tracks from his forthcoming third album, ÷, including the driving autobiographical rocker “Castle on the Hill.” Buzzing with a rhythmic marimba, “Shape of You” is a sexy tropical pop number that details a new romance. “The club isn’t the best place to find a lover,” Ed sings, “so the bar is where I go.”
After avoiding social media for over a year, Ed took to Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter to explain the reasons for his generosity.
“Rooting for You”
The trio made up of singer Hannah Reid, Dot Major and Dan Rothman sure know how to generate excitement for its long-awaited sophomore album, releasing this powerful but understated number about intimacy that focuses on Hannah’s husky contralto, delivered in stark acapella for a full two minutes before some simple orchestral accompaniment kicks in. It’s a slower burner, but her vocals are massive.
In keeping with its ethereal mystique, London Grammar posted a black-and-white GIF on Instagram featuring the song title, the band’s distinctive logo and some billowing clouds.
Hello music columnist Nicholas Jennings surveys the pop landscape each week to find the most dynamic tracks to add to your playlist.