English singer-songwriter Beth Orton has returned with a mesmerizing new song, “Weather Alive” — the title-track from what will be her first album in six years. The LP is set to arrive Sept. 23 via Orton’s new label, Partisan Records.
“Weather Alive” finds Orton crafting a sprawling soundscape filled with roaming piano, a lush mix of synths, and a steady shuffle of drums. Orton’s vocals provide the perfect ethereal glue as she drifts back-and-forth between spoken word and singing: “It almost makes me wanna cry/The weather’s so beautiful outside/Almost makes me wanna cry/The weather’s so beautiful outside.”
Weather Alive is the first album that Orton has produced entirely on her own, crafting the project at her home studio in London. To complete the project, she enlisted the help of several collaborators including the Smile drummer Tom Skinner, the Invisible bassist Tom Herbert, multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily, and jazz poet Alabaster dePlume.
“Through the writing of these songs and the making of this music, I found my way back to the world around me, a way to reach nature and the people I love and care about,” Orton said in a statement. “This record is a sensory exploration that allowed for a connection to a consciousness that I was searching for. Through the resonance of sound and a beaten up old piano I bought in Camden Market while living in a city I had no intention of staying in, I found acceptance and a way of healing.”
Weather Alive marks Orton’s eighth studio effort and follows her 2016 album, Kidsticks. She has a bunch of tour dates scheduled around Europe and the U.K. this summer, including a run opening for Alanis Morissette.