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“There’s a fascinating collaboration between the pop-chamber collective known as The Colorist Orchestra and also Howe Gelb whose music we all know from Giant Sand and some early works of M. Ward and Grandaddy. The other part of this collaboration is Pieta Brown, another hard to define songwriter and singer, and the inspiration behind the next song I’ll play called “Sweet Pretender … The music of The Colorist Orchestra, Howe Gelb, and Pieta Brown. The song “Sweet Pretender” is on an album called Not On The Map which is out October 1st on Dangerbird Records”
– Bob Boilen (NPR)

“The orchestra touches on differing moods with playful woodwinds, soulful piano passages, gorgeous swelling strings, and unorthodox percussion”
– Under The Radar

“There’s something sinister about the strings-and-xylophone combo, with Gelb’s near-Cohen-like croon abetting the mood.”

“Gelb with The Colorist Orchestra is a prismatic musical experience, a marriage of experimental and experiential elements conjured by both sides”
– American Songwriter

Today, The Colorist Orchestra shares their new track “Sweet Pretender,” feat. Pieta Brown. The track has been featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered. On the track, Howe Gelb says, “Being a friend and a fan of Pieta for a quarter century has its perks .. visiting each other in song is like having a dance 1500 miles apart with the best backing band money can‘t even buy – it’s a dream and a splendor, some sweet pretending & a delirious upender.”

Pieta Brown describes the track’s origins: “This song came to me one day when I was playing electric guitar. The muse was very open to my abandonment issues and love addiction that day…the song came in very sudden-like and as soon as I sang it through a few times I imagined it as a duet. I figured out pretty quickly I would need Nick Cave or Howe Gelb to really deliver it “right”.  I mentioned the song to Howe once or twice, but a duet titled “Sweet Pretender” didn’t get too much of an excited response…hahaha…but when I got the invitation to collaborate with Howe and The Colorist Orchestra I couldn’t resist sending them a very rough demo of Sweet Pretender. Then, it seemed like almost instantaneously I received the TCO’s sublime interpretation and arrangement!  I was floored. In a flurry I sang some lines…and Howe responded across the miles.  I had imagined it as a dark electric piece.  How did the TCO make it dark and light at once? Now, when I hear it it sounds like how it must’ve meant to be.”

The Colorist Orchestra previously shared a trio of live videos from their upcoming LP, Not On The Map, out October 1st on Dangerbird Records. Under The Radar premiered the videos for “Black Box”, “Counting On”, and “More Exes”, praising how “the orchestra touches on differing moods with playful woodwinds, soulful piano passages, gorgeous swelling strings, and unorthodox percussion.” Additionally, The Colorist Orchestra and Howe Gelb have announced 6 EU tour dates.

8 Nov | NTGent (40jaar Democrazy) | Gent
13 Nov | De Roma | Antwerp
16 Nov | AB, Brussels