Ed Sheeran


+ Asylum/Atlantic ****

Ah, so here we have the well- deserved sleeper hit of the year, from a tousled, red-haired, 20-year-old Yorkshire-born son of Irish parents who invested in him an abiding love of Van Morrison and Damien Rice. Sheeran has already been gigging for a few years, with several EPs and two albums under his belt. But you can sense from the first song, The A Team, that Sheeran isn't just some obsessive workaholic with more dreams than talent. Throughout this marvellous album you can suss what the fuss is all about: Sheeran upends the singer-songwriter aesthetic by injecting an equal parts hyperkinetic and silver- tongued delivery that embraces white-boy hip-hop (think Plan B raised on James Taylor) and social networking rules. Remarkable. See edsheeran. com

Download tracks: The A Team, Small Bump, Lego House, Give Me Love