Ed Sheeran's a smart cookie. He knows the pop market is fragmented. He knows that, to repeat the success of + and x, he has to reach as many people as he can. So here he is, back with two singles at once: One for the fans and one for the nans.
First up is Castle In The Sky, a freewheeling ballad about growing up in Frangligham. It opens with the none-more-Ed lyric: "When I was six years old I broke my leg." Amazing.
Co-written with Benny Blanco, the song's built around cascading, U2-style guitar riffs. THe chorus will give you goosebumps and, with its references to Tiny Dancer, is precision-targeted at stations like Radio 2 and Heart.
Shape Of You is for the streaming services, an uptempo banger that riffs on Ed's work with Justin Bieber and Major Lazer last year.
Somewhat surprisingly, it paints Ed as a callous, opportunistic lover: "Your love was handy for somebody like me," he sings, "I'm in love with your body." (worst Valentine card ever.)
A press release says the song "dismantles and rebuilds pop music with nothing more than a loop pedal," but to be honest, it's just a very good tropical house track.
As yet, there's no release date for Ed's third album "÷" - but the campaign's off to a great start. Look forward to seeing him at Glastonbury (maybe (although it's as good as in the bag, isn't it? (unless they go for Guns N' Roses (but that would be awful (Go Ed!)))))