10 Songs, 37 Minutes

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.

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.

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Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

12 Ratings

Beth's Graceful State

Rivited,

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

Hawk-witha dreamcatcher,

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

About Beth Orton

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" before appearing with the group Red Snapper on their first singles "Snapper" and "In Deep." In 1995 Orton teamed with the Chemical Brothers for "Alive: Alone," the ultimate track on their Exit Planet Dust LP. After assembling a backing band comprised of double bassist Ali Friend, guitarist Ted Barnes, keyboardist Lee Spencer, and drummer Wildcat Will, she finally issued her 1996 debut EP She Cries Your Name. Her stunning full-length bow Trailer Park, produced in part by Andrew Weatherall, followed later in the year.

In 1997, Orton released the superb Best Bit EP, a move toward a more organic, soulful sound highlighted by a pair of duets with folk-jazz legend Terry Callier; the full-length Central Reservation followed in 1999. "Stolen Car" was a moderate hit among college radio and tours across the U.S. were also successful. Three years later, Orton emerged refreshed with her third album Daybreaker. This time around, she collaborated with ex-Whiskeytown frontman Ryan Adams and the Chemical Brothers. In early 2006, Orton released her fourth album, Comfort of Strangers. The 14-song set was recorded in two weeks with producer Jim O'Rourke and saw her drop her trademark electronic elements for an entirely acoustic sound. After a recording break of six long years, Orton signed to Anti and released the Tucker Martine-produced Sugaring Season in the early fall of 2012 to critical acclaim. Like its predecessor, the album was wholly organic, but, for her next record, 2016's Kidsticks -- also released on Anti -- Orton returned to her electronic roots for the first time in 14 years, co-producing alongside Andrew Hung of Bristol experimental electronic noise duo Fuck Buttons. ~ Jason Ankeny

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