On December 13, 2015, Ed Sheeran made an announcement on his social media accounts. In an image shared on his Instagram account, he acknowledged that he needed some time away from the internet to travel and live life. After a year to the day, he surprised his followers with a new social media post, but what does it mean?

Taking a break

The original Instagram post, that was also shared on his Twitter account, stated that Sheeran was “taking a break from my phone, emails and all social media for a while” and that he found he was “seeing the world through a screen” instead of his eyes.

Sheeran, who had been playing venues big and small and tearing up the pop charts for five years, decided to take a well earned break.

Originally, he also stated he would “see you all next autumn,” though it looks like his break went a little longer than planned. During that time, he traveled, and presumably, wrote new music. His frequent writing partner Amy Wadge, who has writing credit on the entirety of his “Songs I Wrote With Amy” compilation, said that his next album was nearly finished in interviews earlier this year.

One year later

Exactly one year after his message about a hiatus, Ed Sheeran returned to his Instagram and Twitter accounts, but not with any message for his fans in words, but with an image. That image is confusing some fans.

The picture is a solid blue square. He presented the image, without commentary, on all of his social media accounts, and even changed his profile pictures to the blue square, a practice many performers do for album covers and movie posters.

Could that be the case here?

A new album

The running theory (and fervent hope) amongst his fans is that Sheeran has definitely completed work on the new album as Wadge hinted in interviews. Just how long it could take for an album to hit the market is anyone’s guess.

Of course, Beyonce did manage to surprise fans with an album and accompanying videos without anyone in the industry knowing she was distributing the massive release.

Sheeran doesn’t get too many comparisons to Beyonce, but this is one time where a cryptic tease to fans could do it.

Sheeran first rose to prominence with radio play of his song “The A Team,” and has now released three full length studio albums in addition to EPs and recordings of live performances. Fans are sure to be keeping their eyes, and ears, peeled to see what he’s up to next.

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