Ed Sheeran has a new album on the verge of release, and the 23-year-old Brit hit Saturday Night Live to give a little taste of what’s in it. Backed by guitar, bass, drums and a back-up singer on both songs, he treated the SNL audience to two funk-inflected tracks from X.
Sheeran led with “Sing,” the new album’s Pharrell-co-written lead single, which he released April 7th. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Sheeran said that the new album has a few “songs about drunken regret and comedown from certain things,” and “Sing,” about finding love while secretly drinking at a dry industry party, seems to fit the bill.
For his second act, Sheeran debuted “Don’t,” a bitter break-up song about a real-life fling with another singer that ended when she slept with a close friend of his. Sheeran says that it’s absolutely not about his friend and tourmate Taylor Swift, but he did play the song for her after he wrote it. “She was just like, ‘Whatever happens, ever, between us as friends, I never want to piss you off that much,'” he said.