After six years away from the music scene, we welcome back a newly rejuvenated and matured Beth Orton, who has provided us with the new album ‘Sugaring Season’, packed with poignant and meaningful tracks, woven together with her haunting, unique tone. Taking time out to focus on her family life, the folk singer has insured the help of many musical geniuses to make her return successful.
Beth’s album opens with the dramatic ‘Magpie’, which immediately conjures up the imagery of a breezy autumnal morning, with her fresh raspy vocals, entwined with intelligent lyrics on a soft bed of strings. Her modern twist on influential folk creates a big impact as the album opens and her waterfall vocals tumble down the scales, mesmerising the listener. Her second track ‘Dawn Chorus’ is just as enticing and unavoidably catchier as you can’t help but join in with the ‘la la la’s’ in the dreamy melody, leading fluidly into ‘Candles’, a seemingly reflective song, perfect for a Sunday.
As the album progresses, the tracks do become less distinguished and bold, though that is not to say they are poor in comparison to the earlier tracks, just merge gently, creating very easy listening. However the track ‘See through Blue’ seems to have a very European feel to it, creating images of tender folk music in a small French town, with the staccato keys against the fast strings. Whilst ‘Poison Tree’ emits the sense of English ancient folk, with Beth’s rolling notes, harmonies and lyrics of family.
Overall, Beth Orton’s long awaited return has been a great success; the refreshing folk album is exactly what was needed this October. The deep and expressive ‘Sugaring Season’ is full of bold and powerful lyrics without being abrasive; gently easing you into a deep sense of relaxation.