One of my favourite ways of discovering music is with no prior knowledge of the artist and all the usual promo bumf that comes with it. I first fell in love with Beth Orton’s music when I picked up ‘Trailer Park on CD for a pound from a Notting Hill record shop as it had no cover (don’t judge me for being a bargain bin rummager) I had previously heard ‘I wish I never saw the sunshine’ from the soundtrack to ‘Twentyfourseven’ (a rather good but depressing British flick from Shane Meadows) so I knew it might be a bit special and, I wasn’t disappointed. Since those early days Beth Orton has become a deservedly well-known artist with solo and collaborative works that have ear marked periods of defining moments in musically history. So it goes without saying that new material is always a joy to experience and ‘Kidsticks‘, the new album has fulfilled all of my expectations, a blend of downtempo electronica and soft rock with her beautifully distinctive voice leading the way.

Kidsticks was co-produced with Andrew Hung from F*ck Buttons. A plethora of musicians were brought into the mix for the album including George Lewis Jr. from Twin Shadow (electric guitars), Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor (backing vocals and bass guitar) and Dustin O’Halloran from A Winged Victory for the Sullen who (piano and string arrangements). Vocals were recorded by Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stone Age/Mark Lanagan Band) and mixed by David Wrench (Caribou/Hot Chip).

What shines through on listening to the album, is the seductive feel good factor, sometimes playful, sometimes ethereal it leaves you warm with an overall sense of well-being.

Well orchestrated music, tender and thoughtful lyrics with Beth Orton’s magic voice to carry you away …..bliss.

Stand out for me is actually slightly ironic as it’s a spoken word track ‘Corduroy Legs‘, Beth reads over what feels like a walk through an enchanted forest, bird-like sounds and percussive instruments play sporadically over a soft melody ending with a light piano outro, wonderful.

Pure escapism that’s good for the soul.

Kidsticks out 27th May on ANTI Records

Have a listen to 1973 from the album

 

Kidsticks tracklisting:

  1. Snow
  2. Moon
  3. Petals
  4. 1973
  5. Wave
  6. Dawnstar
  7. Falling
  8. Corduroy Legs
  9. Flesh and Blood
  10. Kidsticks

Available on Vinyl/CD/Download

Beth Orton UK headline tour 

 24 Sep            Norwich, Waterfront

25 Sep             Cambridge, Junction

27 Sep             Gateshead, Sage 2

28 Sep             Birmingham, O2 Institute 2

29 Sep             Bristol, Anson Rooms

01 Oct             Oxford, O2 Academy 1

02 Oct             Glasgow, Saint Lukes

03 Oct             Leeds, Beckett Students’ Union

04 Oct             Manchester, Cathedral

06 Oct             London, O2 Forum Kentish Town

 

Tickets available at bethortonofficial.com/tickets

Tickets on general sale from 10am Friday