Ed Sheeran gave another sneak peek at his upcoming fourth solo album, = (equals), on Wednesday night (August 25) during an intimate show at the 1,500-capacity HMV Empire in Coventry, England as part of the music chain’s 100th birthday. As first reported by NME, the hit-heavy set featured recent singles “Bad Habits” and “Visiting Hours,” as well as the live debuts of two love songs, “First Times” and “Overpass Graffiti.”
Fan-shot video of “First Times” revealed it to be an emotional reverie about fresh experiences in Sheeran’s career and private life. It opened with the lines, “I thought I’d feel different playing Wembley/ 80,000 singing with me/ It’s what I’ve been chasing, cuz this is the dream,” as Ed played a hypnotic riff on his acoustic guitar.
He went on to describe grabbing a couple beers after that mind-blowing experience, focusing in on the tiny moments that really matter: the first kiss, the first night, the first dance, those first butterflies in your stomach, the first fight and the urge to make “a million more first times.”
The other new one, “Overpass Graffiti,” was a bit more uptempo, but also seemingly a chronicle of his undying love for his partner. It featured the swoony chorus, “I will always love you for what it’s worth/ We’ll never fade like graffiti on the overpass/ I know time may change the way you think of us/ But I remember the way we were/ You were the first full-stop love that will never leave/ Baby you’ll never be lost on me.”
Due to drop Oct. 29 via Atlantic Records,= has been described as a coming-of-age effort, one that reflects the life experiences of a fully-grown man, the 30-year-old singer said earlier in a statement. The forthcoming LP is “a really personal record and one that means a lot to me,” Sheeran said. “My life changed greatly over the past few years – I got married, became a father, experienced loss, and I reflect on these topics over the course of the album. I see it as my coming-of-age record, and I can’t wait to share this next chapter with you.”
Check out “First Times” and “Overpass Graffiti” below.