Erasure have always been full of surprises. In two decades of plugging in and wigging out, Vince Clarke and Andy Bell have sold millions of albums around the world, staged Broadway-style live spectaculars, influenced countless dance, techno and alternative rock acts, and topped the charts with outlandish cover versions. The latest Book of British Hit Singles ranks the duo among the "Top 100 Most Successful Acts of All Time" and in 2005 The Times Of London proclaimed them more important than Kraftwerk in the great history book of rock. Their record-breaking ten-night stand in New York City last year, in support of the critically-acclaimed Nightbird album, find the duo as relevant and beloved as ever by longtime fans and a whole new generation as well.

On their brand new album Union Street, Vince and Andy have delivered their biggest surprise yet. In a boldly experimental step for an electronic band, they have unplugged themselves, bringing new soulful new depths and acoustic, maybe even a touch of country-western, textures to 11 songs spanning their entire career.

Union Street was recorded in the Brooklyn studio of the same name, which is owned by guitarist Steve Walsh, who previously played on Erasure's 2003 covers collection Other People's Songs and produced Nightbird. Walsh is currently assembling musicians for Erasure's first ever live-band tour. "We found this cool guitarist with a cool studio and decided to use both," says Vince.

The album is dominated by revamped album tracks and born-again B-sides that the band felt best suited an extreme makeover. All sound refreshingly different to their original blueprints. "It was great going back through those songs, some of which I hadn't listened to properly since we made them," Vince recalls. "Suddenly you heard some of the naivety that was in there in the first place."

Union Street proves there has always been much more to Vince and Andy than shiny pop thrills. Unplugged, both musically and emotionally, they have never before sounded so graceful or so heartfelt. This is an album full of pleasant surprises. But coming from Erasure, that is no surprise at all. The band will be performing a handful of acoustic shows beginning May 6 and running through the 19th.

5/6 Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
5/7 Dallas, TX @ Lakewood Theatre
5/8 Houston, TX @ Cullen Theater at Wortham Center
5/10 Los Angeles, CA @ Ford Amphitheatre
5/11 San Francisco, CA @ Herbst Theatre
5/13 Seattle, WA @ Showbox Theater
5/15 Salt Lake City, UT @ Jeanne Wagner Theatre
5/16 Denver, CO @ Boulder Theater
5/18 Chicago, IL @ Park West
5/19 New York, NY @ New York Society For Ethical Culture