Listen to The Colorist Orchestra’s “More Exes” ft Howe Gelb & Pieta Brown (new LP this fall)
Formed in 2013, Belgium's The Colorist Orchestra have so far existed to reinterpret other singers' works; founders Aarich Jespers and Kobe Proesmans use traditional and bespoke instruments to rework the music of the artist they're collaborating with. They're best known for working with Emiliana Torrini, with whom they toured and made a 2016 album, and now they're putting the finishing touches on new album Not on the Map which will be out in October via Dangerbird. It's a collaboration with Giant Sand's Howe Gelb, but unlike their previous works, this album will feature all new material.
The first single is "More Exes," which also features Pieta Brown. It began life as a cover of Gelb's "Vortexas" from 2013's The Coincidentalist, but became something new. “Inspired by an old Giant Sand song, we prepared and recorded almost all the parts for ‘More Exes’ before we had a vocal take,” Jespers says. “So we basically worked on the arrangement as an instrumental track, which explains the many layers in melodies and textures. We wanted to impress Howe with our full color sound to get him on board.”
Pieta explains further:
I remember Howe and I were talking on the phone one day about the recordings with The Colorist Orchestra, and told me he loved the sound of this track that they had sent him based on an old song of his called Vortexas, but that he really didn't feel like he could sing that song anymore...or, at least right now. I remember he said he wanted to find a new song in it somehow. And for some reason that we still don't understand, Howe and I connect in some kind of unnamable, immediate, kinetic, experimental realm, and I remember I just replied : How about 'More Exes'?... And the next thing we all knew Howe had written and recorded that lyric, and then asked me to sing on it. I love this lyric for all kinds of reasons, and singing on it was an experiment unto itself! The majestic sounds of the Colorist Orchestra with Howe's delivery and playful timing is a sound so beautifully it's own. I'm still excited about the invitation to weave in!
The video for "More Exes" premieres in this post. Watch below and stay tuned for more details on the new Colorist Orchestra album.