Ed Sheeran has been off the radar over the last year as he takes in his new life with a wife and child. After working nonstop for two years on his last album, Divide, and going on tour, he decided to hop off and focus on his personal life to “experience more things to write about” at the end of last year. We have heard little from him since, until today, when he released his latest single, “Afterglow.”

In the process of being on break from tour, Sheeran has taken up painting and opened up a bar. “Spent an entire month since tour ended painting, which I’ve never done before,” he stated on social media. “Had so much fun doing it. If I’m honest I felt a bit useless once tour had ended, coz singing, writing and gigging is all I’ve ever known, so it’s nice to find a new way to be creative. I’d recommend anyone getting a few paints and having a splash around; it’s so fun.” Though he has been taking part in this new activity, his paintings have been offered up and sold in charity auction, Suffolk Legacy, to raise money for children in need (1). One of the paintings he

Released as a Christmas gift to his fans, the track pretty clearly embodies characteristics of his ladylove seen through his own eyes. Unique to his own classically acoustic style, “Afterglow” makes the heart soar with it’s hypnotizing harmonizing vocals. In the track, he sings, “We were love drunk waiting on a miracle/Trying to find ourselves in the winter snow/So alone in love like the world had disappeared.”

During a wintery day, the couple are listening to “Iron and Wine,” as he takes in their surroundings and embraces the moment of quiet and peace and joy, then promises to hold on tight and basks in his love for her. This song is all the more relevant after welcoming in their first child this August. The little we heard from him in the last year displays his joy and love for his wife and child.

Using one of the paintings he created, the album art of the single is messy paint strokes and lacks the pressure of being anything in particular. “It’s something that makes me happy; that no one else needs to judge,” he states in an interview. “There’s no part of the creative process that people judge, if you’re just doing it for yourself.”

Although this track is not going toward what will be his fifth album, rumors are being whispered that he is in the process of writing, but is taking the time to hone in on things outside of the pressure of the music industry and life on tour. In the meantime, take in this beautifully heartwarming winter single we were surprised with.

Stream the single, “Afterglow,” now:

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