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Erasure's Andy Bell announces new single and album...

One of the most important popstars of the last few decades is back...

Andy Bell – or as you might know him, one half of Erasure – has a new single and album out this month. beautiful (and yes, it is spelt with a lowercase 'b') will be released digitally across the globe on independent label Ministry of Pop, and was written by dance duo Shelter, better known for the hit Stardust, with Alex Reid.

Yes, that Alex Reid.

Andy's album iPop – his third as a solo artist – will be released on 12 May, following the success of 2010's Non-Stop and 2005's Electric Blue. It features a duet with former UK pop act The Alpha Belles (remember them?), and even a four-piece choral ensemble on the euphoric Glee-sounding track friend (yes, that's spelt with a lower case too).

iPop is made up of eight original songs and ten bonus remixes – which if our maths is right, makes 18 tracks in total – and will surely stand high among today's generation of dance artists. The album revitalises the pop legend with a sound that seamlessly blends nu-skool and old-skool, showing how important Andy Bell is to today's pop culture.

A video for beautiful will be debuting on Ministry of Pop's official YouTube channel sometime in the next ten days – and we'll obviously keep you updated. But in the meantime, you can purchase and pre-order beautiful and iPop respectively from Amazon, iTunes and the rest.

Words Conor Nash, @conor_nash

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