Erasure follow up their recent 30th anniversary celebrations with their seventeenth album, World Be Gone.
The BRIT and Ivor Novello winning pop duo have released a staggering number of albums, including 5 UK Number 1’s and 17 top 10 singles (35 singles charted in the UK Top 40) and their recent best of, Always, saw Erasure entering the Top 10 album charts once again.
World Be Gone sees the award-winning songwriters in a more reflective mood, giving the world and recent political upheavals a thoughtful examination and looking forward to the future. This new album is certainly less dance-orientated in feel than its predecessor, 2014’s The Violet Flame.
“Before we started we were thinking maybe we should do Erasure 2, following up our album from 1995,” Andy says.
“Then when I heard the demos, they sounded like trance movie soundracks. I always think that if the idea is good, you should never commit a vocal to tape or on the phone. I didn’t put anything down, and then I started worrying that the tracks were too good and that they stood up on their own.
“I found that I couldn’t do anything until I met with Vince. When he was in the same room, I just started trilling and singing the songs to the melodies. So it was the confidence of having him there, and him being the muse, that made it work. He’s always really good at saying if he doesn’t like how something sounds.
“Thankfully it all started coming together again, like a jigsaw puzzle. We weren’t trying to be political. The album just represented exactly what was going on.”
In 2014, Andy debuted a theatre show called Torsten the Bareback Saint at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Prior to the festival, he gave two private performances at the St. James Theatre in London.
Torsten was a one-person show and concept album, performed by Andy and written by playwright Barney Ashton-Bullock. The score was composed, orchestrated and arranged by Christopher Frost and produced by Mike Allison.
Andy debuted the show at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where he performed at Assembly Studio One daily throughout August. It is clear that the theatrical experience of performing in Torsten has bled into Erasure’s new album.
“I think it has altered the creative process of making music,” Andy says.
“I love Barney, the writer of Torsten, and Chris, the musical director. Barney has such a way with words. His work is quite raw and guttural. Even though Erasure aren’t like that, I just wanted to think less Oh I love you! and Here are some roses! and express more of what I’m really like.
That drama is perhaps demonstrated best during the striking new album track, ‘Oh What A World’. Played aloud, it’s probably one of Erasure’s bleakest moments on record.
“Oh yeah, I think it probably is the darkest Erasure song,” Andy says.
“I don’t know why it came out like that! Vince was experimenting with the music, so I thought I would do the same with the lyrics and rap more than sing. So I thought, What would Eminem do? Normally I ask myself, What would Debbie do?
DOWNLOAD MY INTERVIEW WITH ANDY BELL HERE
● Erasure start their UK headline dates on 27 May, and begin their tour with Robbie Williams on 2 June. World Be Gone is released on 19 May.