Beth Orton’s latest release, Sugaring Season, is as close to a perfect album as she’s released in almost 10 years. While not nearly as sonically adventurous as classics such as Trailer Park and Daybreaker, Sugaring Season features some of the most beautiful harmonizing and stunning songwriting she’s ever recorded.
I’ve been a big fan of Beth’s ever since the release of Trailer Park back in 1996. She was the first artist who blended elements of folk with electronica that I remember really taking to. Her voice is somewhat of an acquired taste, but I’ve always thought it was extremely soothing; as evidenced on songs like “Don’t Need A Reason,” my favorite Beth Orton song of all-time.
Sugaring Season is definitely the most stripped down of any of her records to date, but it’s by no means spare sounding. I was a little nervous when I heard that she was releasing a “mostly-acoustic” album mostly because it sounded like it could end up being dull – BUT, I should know better than to doubt Beth’s music. Coming almost 6 years since her last release, the mostly disappointing Comfort Of Strangers, Sugaring Season acts as a proper successor to 2002’s magnificent Daydreamer, without ever sounding over or under produced.
Her songwriting is always her biggest strength and songs like Dawn Chorus, Call Me The Breeze, and the extremely pretty Last Leaves Of Autumn remind me why she’s one of the best songwriters of my generation. Each song is full of Beth’s trademark layered songwriting and is sure to act as the perfect companion to fall here in the Northeast. Grab some headphones, put on your pensive mellow hat, and have a listen.
Check out Dawn Chorus below.
*Beth Orton’s 5th album, Sugaring Season, is out now via ANTI.
Beth Orton “Dawn Chorus”