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STEREO EMBERS TRACK OF THE DAY – “More Exes” from The Colorist Orchestra & Howe Gelb ft. Pieta Brown

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Laconically invigorating, enigmatically plainspoken, the overall tenor of the second track from upcoming Not On The Map album due October 1st on Dangerbird, The Colorist Orchestra & Howe Gelb ft. Pieta Brown, (brought into the project at Gelb’s request) so accurately reflects the Giant Sand legend’s dry, intense, ochre-tending creative palette they may as well have recorded the song inside a hall of mirrors. And while there’s a connective logic to this being the case seeing as “More Exes” is structurally based on Gelb’s own “Vortexas” (off 2013 album The Coincidentalist), the fact that the newly reimagined/rearranged track now sports a musical base that’s moody in a suave, assured, continental beatnik way, its hipness sincere, its sincerity deeply hip, well that’s down to Antwerp-based Kobe Proesmans and Aarich Jespers, the pair of percussionists at the heart of The Colorist Orchestra. Begun some ten years ago or so as an avant-pop/classical duo animated by the idea of supporting quirky pop singers, by mid-decade the project had grown into an 8-person unit – thereby eventually becoming known as TCO – that continued on that original mission by inviting singer/songwriters they felt a strong aesthetic kinship with. Thus came collabs with Sumie Nagano, Cibelle, and, most known to our readers, perhaps, Emiliana Torrini and Lisa Hannigan. Always big fans of Howe Gelb’s work, the pair reached out with that rework of “Vortexas” and before anyone fully knew it it became obvious that there was much more territory to explore. Notably, “More Exes” is the sole example of their labor’s fruits plucked from Gelb’s catalog, as all involved innately understood that, even given how rewarding this initial experience had turned out, plowing into the rich unknowns of the future was a much more exhilarating prospect than dredging long-ago unearthed nuggets. That said, believe us when we say that, not only does the below video give you an enticingly representative taste of the bounty to come in the fall, it’ll also make you – as it did us – very happy the multiple partners decided to see this originally mooted attempt through to its end. Stark, lush, idiosyncratic but soulful and true to itself, there’s really nothing much like it out there. Regardless, while not likely an intended result, “More Exes” carries an appeal that will turn the ears of Gelb fans as well as those of Lou Reed, trip-hop, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Harry Partch, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sigur Ros, dozens more I’m not thinking of. Universal? Well, yeah, kind of, but also unique as hell. Dig. [feature photo: Michelle Geerardyn}