Ed Sheeran spent his year-long break cranking out catchy tunes.

The British singer-songwriter removed himself from the public eye and social media for a year to travel and work on his third studio album. Now, he’s back with two brand-new singles: the bouncy, nostalgic Castle on the Hill and come-hither banger Shape of You.

“Castle on the Hill is a love song to my hometown and my friends, and me and my friends have nothing in common other than our love for each other and our hometown, so I just wanted to write a song appreciating that,” he said Friday in his first North American interview about the music after calling into SiriusXM Hits 1’s The Morning Mash Up (and promising to stop by in person soon). “Shape of You is the appreciation of the shape of a woman’s body, and I wanted to put out both songs because I couldn’t decide which one represented the album, ’cause neither of them really do, so I thought if I put both of them out at once, that would sort of show that the album is eclectic.”

Though this is his first solo record since 2014’s x, Sheeran co-wrote and lent some vocals to songs for artists like Justin Bieber (Love Yourself), Rudimental (Lay It All on Me), and The Weeknd (Dark Times) during his hiatus.

Watch the full interview below:

The Morning Mash Up airs weekdays from 6 am to 12 pm ET on SiriusXM Hits 1 (Ch. 2).

For a free 30-day trial, check out http://www.siriusxm.com/freetrial/blog

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