ERASURE

Published on December 22nd, 2021

ERASURE

In a culture that is cycling frantically through its past for something, anything, to love again, here come Erasure to take us all back to the synth pop era of their founding. Frontman Andy Bell and instrumentalist Vince Clarke, bandmates on and off since 1985, are touring in support of a new album, “The Neon,” that puts 21st Century production thump into their heart-piercing ’80s sound.

It was awhile back that Bell first teamed up with producer, keyboardist and songwriter Clarke, who by then had already passed through some of the greatest synth bands of any age: Depeche Mode, The Assembly, Yaz(oo). Bell and Clarke wasted no time putting their own mark on the moment, notching dance-floor and crossover hits with high-strung confessionals like “A Little Respect” and “Chains of Love.”

On stage, the band members were perfect foils: Bell the antic, flamboyant embodiment of emergent gay ’80s life; Clarke the stoic keyboard sentry, expressionless and almost motionless at his console except for his surgical hands.

THE NEON

When a band or artist has helped to change the sound of music, what happens next? Erasure haven’t broken much new ground since then, but they retain the affections of many who came of age in the ‘80s. Their infectious singles and dualist personas have also charmed later generations of listeners.

“The Neon,” released in August of 2020, followed 2017’s “World Be Gone” and a retreat into solo projects. Over Clarke’s taut riffs, there’s an older but still supple-voiced Bell imparting life lessons. On the single, “Hey Now (Think I Got a Feeling),” he sings, “There’s a sweetness in your eyes / You’d better take my good advice / You’d better keep away from them.” On “Kid You’re Not Alone,” Bell sounds a note of optimism that could be apt to the times: “And as sure as day becomes the night / We come around and find our way through darkness / Guided by the stars.”

Erasure with special guest Bag Raiders performs 8pm Friday, Jan. 14 at at the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater, $55-$75. erasureinfo.com ~ Olivia Feldman

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