15 Most Underrated Ed Sheeran Songs

Ed Sheeran, the lovable redhead from Suffolk, England, has become the modern-day mainstream poster child for the singer/songwriter genre through his soulful acoustic ballads and energetic hip-hop-influenced jams. Between lyrics of love, heartbreak, drinking, internal struggles, and familial issues, Sheeran is unquestionably recognized by many as one of the most genuine and heartfelt songwriters of the 2010s. He seems to get more and more popular with every release, but yet, many of his songs don’t garner their deserved attention. Here are our top 15 most underrated songs from this amiable musician! (Stick around for honorable mentions and unreleased songs at the end!)

15. “I Will Take You Home” from Bloodstream – Single  (2015)

Casual acoustic strumming and endearing libretto defines “I Will Take You Home,” which was released as part of the “Bloodstream” single in 2015. Between a harmonica solo and unique vocal layering, “I Will Take You Home” is an enjoyable, serene track that showcases Ed’s humble lyricism and simplistic attitude. It’s an entrancing song that easily allows the listener to relax and turn off the rest of the world.

14. “Shirtsleeves” from ×  (2014)

“Shirtsleeves” appeared as a bonus track on Ed’s 2014 full-length album ×, pronounced “multiply.” Ed has always worn his heart on his sleeve and that is clearly noticeable on “Shirtsleeves” … literally. The upbeat percussion creates a sense of energy while the guitar-commanding singer croons and whispers his feelings through metaphors related to water and drowning.

13. “Grade 8” from +  (2011)

Ed’s major label debut + was a game-changer in the singer/songwriter industry. His perfect mixture of hip-hop and acoustic consonance was something not many artists had consummated before, and it is incontrovertibly apparent on “Grade 8,” an animated cut from + ornamented with piano chords, buoyant percussion, and electric guitar accentuations. The chorus is addictive and yet also pleasingly sentimental.

12. “Touch and Go” from ×  (2014)

The opening riff of “Touch and Go” is nothing short of infectious. This tune has an insatiable groove that is simply undeniable. The vocal theme is catchy, especially in the chorus, and nonchalantly rolls off the tongue, which testifies to Ed’s songwriting and melodic sensibility. “Touch and Go” was attached as a bonus track for ×, causing it to not earn proper attention.

11. “Save Myself” from ÷  (2017)

Though our review of Ed’s third major label release was not extremely positive, “Save Myself” undoubtedly stands out as one of the best songs on ÷. The gentle piano melody coupled with Ed’s emotional vocal delivery bolsters the already poignant lyrics, making for a self-reflective tearjerker. The tune was included as a bonus track though it was initially intended to be an a-side, and it’s a shame it did not receive its due recognition.

Click here to read our full review of ÷!

10. “English Rose” from ×  (2014)

Another bonus track from ×, “English Rose” is an exceedingly unique song for Ed’s discography. Ed crafts a Mumford & Sons-esque stadium-rattler with a chugging, progressive percussion beat and folky attitude. “English Rose” features another harmonica solo, presumably the same one from (or at least very similar to) the aforementioned “I Will Take You Home,” among a full-sounding array of diverse instrumentation not typically exhibited on an Ed Sheeran tune, who is known for being a one-man band.

9. “You Break Me” from Want Some?  (2007)

“You Break Me” is the effervescent opening track from Ed’s recondite third long-player titled Want Some?. Unleashed on his parent’s independent art consultancy named Sheeran Lock at the young age of 16, Want Some? is Ed’s fourth non-major-label release and is mostly forgotten and overlooked by general listeners. “You Break Me” is authentic evidence of Ed’s early musical talent and euphonious potency that would eventually manifest itself on stages in sold-out stadiums across the globe. (Of course, we’re all enthused by Ed’s adorable “fetus” voice.)

8. “Even My Dad Does Sometimes” from ×  (2014)

Ed has always cited John Mayer as a notable inspiration for his career, and that is certainly obvious sonically on the deep cut “Even My Dad Does Sometimes” from ×. Featuring a downtrodden electric guitar melody and stirring piano refrains, “Even My Dad Does Sometimes” is a heartrending tune reminding the listener that it’s “alright to cry” and “shake” because it means we are human. Ed tells us it’s “alright to die” but to just hold on for today and live on no matter what. Being human means feeling emotions, which is exactly what this song makes us do.

7. “Gold Rush” from +  (2011)

On a more positive note, “Gold Rush” is an upbeat, singalong-ready tune that was included as bonus material on Ed’s major label debut titled +. The instrumentation is characterized solely by an acoustic and electric guitar, but the catchiness of the vocal melody renders this number to be more musically captivating and challenging to get out of your head. Ed has a way of crafting simple yet memorable, fun compositions that are irrefutable earworms.

6. “The Man” from ×  (2014)

A standard edition a-side from ×, “The Man” is a steady rap-inflicted tune that demonstrates Ed’s ability to create sensitive rap sequences which allow him to squeeze more lyrics into his arrangements. This track is one of Ed’s most personal and internally contemplative pieces, causing him to appear overcome during an intimate acoustic performance. “The Man” is a song of loss, heartache, self-disappointment, bitterness, sadness, and overall unhindered honesty, all attributes that most mainstream artists don’t typically delve into, which sets Ed apart from the bunch as a more introspective, heartfelt songwriter.

5. “Fire Alarms” from Songs I Wrote With Amy – EP  (2010)

“Fire Alarms” is a mellow yet spirited article from the Songs I Wrote With Amy EP released in 2010. Amy Wadge is one of the main remarkable songwriters that Ed has collaborated with on numerous tunes, including some of his most monumental hits like “Thinking Out Loud” and “Galway Girl.” “Fire Alarms” is carried by a propulsive acoustic guitar melody with electric strains sprinkled throughout and subdued percussion. The song gently develops and broadens with the repeated line “We are waving our lives away.”

4. “Nina” from ×  (2014)

Similar to “The Man,” “Nina” is another impassioned cut from × that attests to Ed’s expressive lyricism and unapologetic tendency to openly display his heart. “Nina” also testifies to his inclination to include personal details, which gives his music an exclusively intimate touch, like a page from his diary. The track is characterized by piano-directed assonance, fervent vocals, ebullient percussion, and deep guitar strumming.

3. “One Night” from Loose Change – EP  (2010)

The rich instrumentation and production quality paired with the catchy vocal cadences and interesting libretto makes “One Night” an intriguing and momentous song in Ed’s catalog. The repetitive chorus is bound to get stuck in your head, along with the electric guitar refrains dazzled throughout the mix. The verses are down-to-earth and overall entertaining to follow along with, like when Ed sings about needing money to purchase fast food but the person he’s with buys him “chips and cheese” so “she’s all [he] need[s],” or how she “turns [his] cheeks the color of [his] hair.” “One Night” distinctively substantiates Ed’s operatic ability and how he can craft lyrics that are both warmly thoughtful and amusingly charming.

2. “Runaway” from ×  (2014)

A song with a groove that Taylor Swift vehemently praised, “Runaway” is emphatically one of the catchiest, most rhythmic numbers on × with the production help of Pharrell Williams. On top of the musical efficiency, the lyrics illustrate a son’s struggle with his father’s alcoholism and inclination to abjectly run away from home, claiming he “love[s] him from [his] skin to [his] bones” but sadly doesn’t “wanna live in his home.” Ed further portrays his internal maturity by accepting that no one is perfect when he says, “None of us are saints; I guess that God knows that.” It’s a grim depiction but an honest, sincere emotional presentation of a real-life situation that many people experience and can subsequently relate to.

1. “Top Floor (Cabana)” from Hotel Cabana with Naughty Boy  (2013)

Oddly enough, our top pick is a collaborative project with Naughty Boy. The song is titled “Top Floor (Cabana)” from Naughty Boy’s 2013 full-length Hotel Cabana. “Top Floor” is a seemingly simple tune which opens up with sounds of a bustling city, allowing the listener to truly feel like they are in the moment and place the song attempts to set. Instrumentally, “Top Floor” is characterized by nothing more than Ed’s acoustic guitar and a soft backing piano. The lyrics are ardently captivating and strangely ethereal, painting a scene of an empty soul contemplating suicide—his “sweetest goodbye.” The delivery is overall chilling and arouses feelings of hopelessness and sorrow. The boisterous honking of car horns at the end and lack of worded closure causes the listener to wonder if the writer chose to fall from the top floor of the hotel. It leaves a sense of despondency and grief and a longing to aid the forlorn singer, which is an emotional connection that not many songs can accomplish. Despite this level of masterful songwriting and heartstring-tugging, the brief piece unfortunately did not gain its deserved attention.

Well, there you have it, the most underrated songs by Ed Sheeran! Tweet at us or let us know in the comments below what songs you think are overlooked!


Honorable Mentions:

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March 2017 Alt Col Picks

Plenty of great albums appeared in March, so here are our favorite releases of the month! (In no particular order.) Want a Spotify playlist? Click here!

  • Ed Sheeran – ÷

Singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran’s third major label release ÷ attests to his stylistic diversity, shifting from hip-hop occasions to sugary love ballads to casual acoustic serenades. While it is certainly not his best work, ÷ still does not fall flat on its face as another “white guy with an acoustic guitar” outing. Standout tracks include “Castle on the Hill,” “Galway Girl,” and “Supermarket Flowers.” ÷ will appeal to fans of Chris DuPont, Julie Byrne, and Noah Guthrie. Maybe.

Read our full review of Ed Sheeran’s ÷ by clicking here!

  • Can’t Swim – Fail You Again

The hard-hitting debut from New Jersey’s Can’t Swim is sure to put them on the map and solidify their position in the modern rock and pop punk scene! Rough vocals and impassioned musicality meld together for a compelling listen, bound to keep the record spinning for weeks to come. Standout tracks include “What’s Your Big Idea?,” “Quitting,” and “We Won’t Sleep.” Fail You Again is sure to attract followers of Seaway, Have Mercy, and Like Pacific.

  • Temples – Volcano

Psychedelic, spell-binding, and mesmerizing, Volcano grips you from track one to the end in a positively lenitive haze. Temples incorporates some electronic inflections to keep this emollient record fresh and separate from their previous material that echoes musical manners of the 1960s. Standout tracks include “Certainty,” “I Wanna Be Your Mirror,” and “Born Into the Sunset.” Volcano will capture listeners of The Shins, Hippo Campus, and Palma Violets.

  • Spoon – Hot Thoughts

The latest release from alt-rock band Spoon is sweltering and blistering, impish and jaunty. It’s sonically rich and lyrically captivating as it transports you to moods and places you can only imagine. Groovy at times and hushed at others, Spoon’s still got it. Standout tracks include “Hot Thoughts,” “Can I Sit Next to You,” and “Do I Have to Talk You Into It.” Hot Thoughts is sure to interest fans of The War on Drugs, Beck, and Silversun Pickups.

  • A Will Away – Here Again

Riveting melodies that blur the line between pop punk and indie rock infect this album from start to finish, in a good way, of course. From boisterous percussion and eccentric guitars to fervent songwriting and catchy hooks, Here Again is a pleasing change of pace in the world of pop rock. Standout tracks include “Caroline,” “The Shakes,” “Pay Raise,” and “Well-Adjusted.” Here Again will appeal to followers of Moose Blood, Boston Manor, and Turnover.

  • Heavy Things – Goner

Goner, Heavy Things

With sentimental libretto and singalong-worthy chants that make you want to shout the words with the windows down on the highway, Goner is animated and exhilarating at times and introspective all throughout. The blend of acoustic and electric guitars makes for a delectable texture and sound. Standout tracks include “Sold,” “Badge of Honor,” and “33.” Goner is sure to satisfy followers of A Will Away, Moose Blood, and You vs. Yesterday.

  • Creeper – Eternity, In Your Arms

Considered to be the saviors of modern rock, Creeper’s irresistible debut shakes you by the shoulders and doesn’t let go. From anthemic choruses to rhapsodic guitar melodies, Eternity, In Your Arms is a stellar release outlined by conviction and robustness all throughout. Standout tracks include “Hiding With Boys,” “Black Rain,” and “Suzanne.” Eternity, In Your Arms is bound to attract listeners of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Trash Boat, and Tiger Army.

  • Sorority Noise – You’re Not As _____ As You Think

You’re Not As ____ As You Think is intense, sincere, and unhinged. This is Sorority Noise’s most moving record to date and certainly a slice of pop punk emo you don’t want to sleep on. It discusses suicide, religion, loss, and self-esteem, trademarks of the heartfelt emotive genre. Standout tracks include “No Halo,” “Leave the Fan On,” and “Disappeared.” You’re Not As ____ As You Think will capture fans of The Wonder Years, Modern Baseball, and Citizen.


Honorable Mentions
  • The Shins – Heartworms

Mellow and hypnotically smooth psychedelia. Standout tracks include “Name for You,” “Mildenhall,” and “Dead Alive.” For fans of Deerhunter, Temples, and The Decemberists.

  • Stolas – Stolas

Piercing rock with an adventurous bite. Standout tracks include “Bellwether,” “Damage Division,” and “Catalyst.” For fans of A Lot Like Birds, Sianvar, and Adventurer.

  • Real Estate – In Mind

Entrancing, fluid soft indie rock. Standout tracks include “Darling,” “Stained Glass,” and “Holding Pattern.” For fans of Wild Nothing, Atlas Sound, and Ducktails.

  • Minus the Bear – VOIDS

Radiant alternative math rock. Standout tracks include “Last Kiss,” “Invisible,” and “Robotic Heart.” For fans of Bloc Party, Shiny Toy Guns, and Fang Island.

  • Knox Hamilton – The Heights

Velvety alt-rock bound to mesmerize you. Standout tracks include “Pretty Way to Fight,” “Washed Up Together,” and “Work It Out.” For fans of CRUISR, Colony House, and Bad Suns.

  • Remo Drive – Greatest Hits

Gravelly alternative punk with slick guitar melodies. Standout tracks include “Art School,” “Crash Test Rating,” and “Eat S**t.” For fans of Unturned, Yellow Ostrich, and The Noise FM.

  • Cold Climb It – Fade (EP)

Straddles the line between alt-rock and pop punk. Standout tracks include “There’s No Energy For Trying” and “Center City.” For fans of Modern Baseball, The Dangerous Summer, and With Confidence.

  • Softspoken – Pathways (EP)

Epic post-hardcore that demands your attention. Standout tracks include “Something I’m Missing” and “I Feel Fire.” For fans of Pierce the Veil, SycAmour, and Chasing Safety.


Let us know what you think of March’s releases down in the comments below!