Ed Sheeran, the English singer and songwriter who has brought folk-rock back into the mainstream, sang his new song, “Castle on the Hill,” for the first time on television last night on “Saturday Nigh Live.” The tune is off his new album “÷” Divide.
Also from the album, Sheeran performed “Shape of You,” a tune recently released in tandem with “Castle” as a digital download.
“Castle On The Hill” is a semi-autobiographical song that draws on Sheeran’s upbringing in Franlingham, a rural English town. It’s dominated by a large castle on a hill.
He also sings about a lover.
Fifteen years old and smoking hand-rolled cigarettes,
Running from the law through the backfields and getting drunk with my friends.
Had my first kiss on a Friday night, I don’t reckon that I did it right,
But I was younger then, take me back to when.
Benny Blanco, who produced the song, called it a “life-affirming pop rocket” in an iTunes promo.
“Castle On The Hill” topped out at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
“Shape of You,” veers into dance music with a pronounced beat and an unusual combination of xylophones, guitars and drums.
Falling in love is also a theme. Sheeran sings about meeting a woman in a bar and falling for her her.
“This came really, really late,” he said of the song in a BBC Radio 1 interview.
“This was the last song that was finished, and I just didn’t put two-and-two together that it was even gonna be on the album at all.
“I just wrote it and I was like, ‘Oh, that was fun,’ and kept it from my label,” he said.
His third studio album is in the same mold as the mathematical-themed first and second albums, “+” (Plus) and “x” (Multiply). It’s slated for release next month.
Check out the tunes below.
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