Erasure Sees The 'Light' On New Album

After an unexpected acoustic detour with last year's "Union Street," veteran synth-pop duo Erasure is back in familiar territory for "Light at the End of the World," due May 22 via Mute. The 10-track

After an unexpected acoustic detour with last year's "Union Street," veteran synth-pop duo Erasure is back in familiar territory for "Light at the End of the World," due May 22 via Mute. The 10-track set was recorded last fall at a converted studio in Portland, Maine.

Vocalist Andy Bell tells Billboard.com the material was derived both from backing tracks Vince Clarke had sent to him via email and two writing sessions the pair held together in Maine. Bell also took great joy in playing Clarke favorite music from his iPod as inspiration for the new album's sound.

Among them, according to Bell: "a remix album called 'Grand 12 Inches,' by Ben Liebrand, and also the Boy George album 'Yum Yum.' Then, things like Miss Kittin and old disco stuff like Shannon, 'Let the Music Play.' And, quite a lot of Giorgio Moroder material, because I love Donna Summer."

Bell is particularly high on album track "Glass Angel," which he likens as a musical sequel to "Rock Me Gently" from Erasure's 1995 self-titled album. "It's quite surreal, the lyrics," he says. "It's a tune that came to me quite quickly, which I always love, because those tunes are kind of meant to be." Thematically, the project is about "being torn between two lovers, which is what I am going through at the moment," Bell says with a chuckle.

Erasure will debut new material this summer during the True Colors tour, which will also feature Cyndi Lauper, Blondie's Debbie Harry and the Gossip. "I feel like I'm in the company of these grand dames," says Bell of the outing, scheduled to begin in June in Seattle. From there, Erasure will play some headlining shows in North America then head to Europe. A gig at London's Royal Albert Hall is also in the works.

Meanwhile, the "Union Street" tour, which found Erasure surrounded by auxiliary musicians, is chronicled on the CD/DVD "On the Road to Nashville," due Feb. 20 via Mute. Bell says he relished the experience: "If anything, I felt safer, because there were more people on the stage and I felt the emphasis was not on me so much," he offers. "Having musicians there was really nice. Also, doing different interpretations of the songs kept it fresh for me. It's hard to put a new spin on songs you do over and over."