On Sunday, however, Sheeran excited his fans when he shared that he had a "Christmas present" coming Monday morning.
That present was actually a previously unreleased song called "Afterglow."
"Hey guys. 'Afterglow' is a song I wrote last year that I wanted to release for you," Sheeran shared on Instagram. "It’s not the first single from the next album, it’s just a song I love, and hope you love too. Enjoy! Have a safe and happy festive break and New Year’s. Back to dad land for me now, ciao x"
In addition to releasing the song, Sheeran also released a performance video of himself playing the acoustic guitar and singing the romantic tune.
"Oh I won't be silent and I won't let go, I will hold on tight until the afterglow," he sings. "And we'll burn so bright until the darkness softly clears."
When he announced his break from music in 2019, Sheeran assured his fans, "I promise to be back with some new music when the time is right and I've lived a little more to actually have something to write about."
In September, Sheeran announced that he and his wife, Cherry, had welcomed their first child in August, writing, "Last week, with the help of an amazing delivery team, Cherry gave birth to our beautiful and healthy daughter - Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran. We are completely in love with her. Both mum and baby are doing amazing and we are on cloud nine over here."
He gave no hints about when he'd be returning to music, but noted, "I’ll see you when it’s time to come back."