It‘s been a long and tough year for so many different reasons. What was supposed to be an amazing twelve months turned into the abomination of a complete hell hole. No wonder that Christmas has never felt less Christmassy than it does this year. There‘s a pandemic, people are stuck alone in London and god knows what the upcoming months have got in their books for us. But in the midst of all of this, we can‘t help but feel this tiny ray of hope, this small idea that everything might actually be alright after all. And maybe that’s why Ed Sheeran’s surprise single ‘Afterglow’ could not have been released at any better moment. The Brit to the rescue.
Originally written a year ago together with David Hodges and FRED (the latter also produced the track together with Ed), ‘Afterglow’ could be best described as a tight, loving hug in the form of a song. Released pretty much out of nowhere after a few teasing comments left on fan postings on Instagram by Sheeran himself, the Christmassy number sees the singer-songwriter go back to his more acoustic, quiet roots, and although unrelated to his upcoming album expected to be released next year, it provides a sneak-peek as to what the record may sound like. And for his dedicated fans, including ourselves, it might just be exactly what we were hoping for all this time.
Mellow and with a softness that makes the track almost feel like it’s so fragile it could break to the touch, the gentle hit is Sheeran at his best after a year of him disappearing from the face of the earth once again for his well-deserved break. Using his own voice as his choir, a method the British star has become known and loved for over the years, the song is perfect to listen to on a calm winter night, cuddled up in a blanket and a plate of sweet Christmas cookies on the side. Or also just for those moments when you feel like you could use a few minutes of peace and some beautiful music.
Now that we’re getting closer to the end of the year minute by minute, somehow living in a better future, but also kind of still stuck in the same rut that started its journey of doom a few months ago, it has become more and more difficult for everyone to hold on to hope, to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And we might be wrong, but maybe Sheeran saw all of this dread and darkness and thought him peeking his head out from dad-land and blessing us all with a new song might just put a smile on one face or the other. And he thought right. Because he proved that even if the world around is crumbling and even if it might feel like there is nowhere to go, there will still be another day to look forward to and there will still be music to accompany us. Until the darkness softly clears.
Written by Laura Weingrill