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Sugaring Season

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Editors’ Notes

This fifth album from the ‘90s comedown queen is an assured, relaxed showcase of easy, ‘70s-toned songcraft. Orton was returning to music after a six-year break, during which she relearned guitar with the help of her hero Bert Jansch, and right from the swirling folk rock of “Magpie” and the easy, brushed drums and gentle refrain of “Dawn Chorus,” she sounds freed from expectations. The delicious fingerpicked croon of “Mystery” and the summertime blues of “Call Me the Breeze” feel like they were done on her own terms, in her own time.

Customer Reviews

Beth's Graceful State

The song Magpie introduces Sugaring Season with complexity and immediacy. The folk current is laid down right from that opening track and weaves its way throughout the rest of this album. Flourishes of jazz on the single Something More Beautiful, really do beautify Beth's vocals and as the song swells in its chorus, the result is quite good. Other notable tracks include Call Me the Breeze and Poison Tree. The prior's country tinge and melody stands out on this mostly quiet and short album. The latter's detached quality, subdued folk style, and added male vocals, form a difficult and rewarding track on repeated listens. Beth is at her most vulnerable on the closer Mystery, and her vocals shine. Though one can find quite a few aspects to like on Sugaring Season, the album is a bit bland, vacant, and energy seems hard to summon. Her best still remains Central Reservation from 1999, followed by 2006's Comfort of Strangers.

she is an Orton

Do with what you got spirit just like Van Morrison, ViewOfAKind, Jon Walker, The Verve, Love the work she shares with us!


It has been a long time since I've found an album that pulls me in so deeply. I loved her music years ago with Trailer Park and Central Reservation, but this far exceeds either of those. It is produced beautifully, Orton's voice sounds connected to the earth and the cosmos at the same time, and the songs are playful, soulful, and poetic. I'm just beginning to enjoy it, and want to be able to sing every piece on this.


Born: December, 1970 in Norwich, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Beth Orton combined the passionate beauty of the acoustic folk tradition with the electronic beats of trip-hop to create a fresh, distinct fusion of roots and rhythm. Born in Norwich, England in December 1970, Orton debuted as one half of the duo Spill, a one-off project with William Orbit which released a cover of John Martyn's "Don't Wanna Know About Evil." She continued working with Orbit on his 1993 LP Strange Cargo 3, co-writing and singing the track "Water From a Vine Leaf"...
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