hmv's Albums of 2014: Ed Sheeran
Every day throughout January we're going to be previewing 2014's biggest records, today it's Ed Sheeran, he had a huge, unlikely success with his debut +, how can he top it?
A little background…
Of all the unlikely success stories of the last 10 years, none feels more like an underdog overcoming just about everything than Ed Sheeran. His debut record + emerged on September 9, it was widely assumed that he'd be a small obstacle for Laura Marling to overcome in her quest to obtain her first Number One album in the UK. As it turned out, Sheeran crushed her, selling over 102,000 copies of the record in its first week, sales that everybody back. + has gone on to be a huge success, selling almost four million and taking Sheeran from coffee shops to arenas around the world.
Ideally, he'd have had the follow-up out by now, but big tour has followed big tour and he's only had the chance to knuckle down and work on the record this year. Recently, we've heard some new music in the shape of 'I See Fire', a track Sheeran contributed to the soundtrack of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug soundtrack. You can hear it at the bottom of the page.
What It's Called?
No idea, Sheeran's not confirmed anything. -? No, that's too easy…
Who's Producing It? Are There Any Big-Name Guests?
Sheeran confirmed that he's been working legendary Rick Rubin on the record, telling Rolling Stone that he'd been trying new techniques with the bearded guru, saying: "Rick had an idea of me recording it completely acoustic and then adding instrumentation later."
In the same interview Sheeran also revealed that at least six of the album's songs have been co-written by Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance and has also worked with Gavin DeGraw, tourmate Taylor Swift and Ellie Goulding. It's not known which tracks end up on the record though…
What Will It Sound Like?
Sheeran has promised a much more mature record, but also confirmed that he wants to be keep things minimal, writing and recording acoustically as he did when he wrote +. His life's changed a bit since then, so don't expect the same lyrical themes, but also it's unlikely he's roped in too many string quartets…
Will It Really Come Out This Year? And When?
Almost certainly. Sheeran's plan is to release three albums over the next three years. Let's see how he gets on. We'd be betting on late spring/early summer for this one.