Just as he was prepping for his tour with Taylor Swift, adorable little singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran revealed he had around 26 songs in consideration for his next album, and that he was planning to record some of the record on the road. The British crooner has now given fans a few more details about that + follow-up, telling Billboard the number of tracks in the running has ballooned to 40 — a number he hopes to whittle down to 14.
Sheeran added that he’s trying “to kind of write different songs…that are kind of out of my comfort zone and challenge myself a little bit.” In addition to happier songs, which he said he was going for back in February, that also means beats. “It’s definitely leaning towards more of a beat-heavy thing, definitely more hip-hop-like,” he said. Surprising, but not as surprising as it seems on its face: Sheeran did beatbox on Ellen last year, and he recently mashed up Blackstreet‘s “No Diggity” with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis‘ “Thrift Shop.” So, there’s maybe no need to panic about this latest update.