Ed Sheeran has made good on those mysterious social media posts and released his first new songs since 2014. And now he's spilling secrets about his forthcoming album and how he spent his year largely away from the spotlight.
Fun facts: His year off involved a floating studio, partying with the Game of Thrones cast, and spending an entire day relearning the words to one of his biggest hits.
On BBC Radio 1's Breakfast Show, Sheeran shared that he had forgotten the words to "Don't," and that he had to relearn how to work a looping station, which factors heavily into his live show. Whoooops.
He goes on to tell the Breakfast Show hosts about hanging with the Game of Thrones cast, how "Shape of You" was written with Rihanna in mind, that he chartered the Queen Mary 2 and built a studio onboard because producer Benny Blanco hates to fly, and how "Castle on the Hill," which he then performed live, was a bit of an afterthought and the last song that was finished for his "schizophrenic" album, which is called ÷ (or "Divide," 'cause dude has a thing for math) for its stylistic variation. That's the motivation behind dropping "Castle on the Hill" and "Shape of You" as the first two singles: They're super different, and that's why they best represent the album.
"I wanted to pick the two that were furthest away from each other. I think if I released 'Castle' first, people would think it's a U2 record. If I released ['Shape of You'] first, people would think it's a Rihanna record."
Watch Sheeran's stripped-down performance of "Castle on a Hill" above, and listen to his chat with the Breakfast Show in full here.