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Beth Orton – Weather Alive

May 8, 2023
Beth Orton
Weather Alive

I missed this album in 2022, but it was on several 2022 year-end best-of lists and so I gave it a listen. I have several Orton CDs from the late 90s and early 00s. I liked her folktronica. After a few listens on streaming services, I liked it enough to commit to the vinyl edition. Weather Alive is dreamy and atmospheric – almost ambient, but this is not mere musical wallpaper. It reminds me of Roxy Music’s Avalon in that it is a beautiful soundscape with catchy songs.

Orton has an unusual voice – kind of breathy and fragile, but with a kind of steely urgency. Lyrically, I don’t really have a clue what she is singing about, but the lyrics certainly are engaging, for example the titular track:

“And the world calling out to me
But the world out beyond my reach
Almost makes me wanna cry
The weather’s so beautiful outside”

“Weather Alive”

But it does not matter if I don’t understand the lyrics. The vocals are as beautiful as the instrumental music that accompanies them.

Although the album has an electronica feel, the music is organic: acoustic instruments, real drums and just a touch of synths (or as the credits state: “old synths”).

This is a beautiful dreamy record with a melancholy vibe. Perfect for both late nights and lazy afternoons. I read an article in the New York Times that experiencing awe is good for your health. Sit back and catch a wave of awe with Beth Orrin’s Weather Alive. This should have made my 2022 best of – if I had been aware of it.


From → Music Reviews

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