Beth Orton - "Magpie” (MP3)

Sound it Out # 33: Beth Orton- "Magpie” (MP3)

I can’t think of anyone who makes more consistently beautiful, melancholy music than Beth Orton. Her songs are full of nuanced wisdom and the sound of her voice alone can make your heart delightfully heavy.

Orton's new album is her first in six years and is out on October 2nd. It’s called Sugaring Season and the songs are as lush and lovely as you would hope. Go ahead and download “Magpie” -- it’s a gift from Orton and the folks at Anti- Records.



  1. Saw her at Field Day Festival years ago.  She looked tiny in the middle of this huge stage on the field of Giant Stadium — until she started playing, at which point she had even more presence than Spiritualized did with their seventeen-piece band.  The contrast between her joyful, bubbly personality and sad, reflective tunes was charming.  I’d never heard of her before but came away from it with a lot of respect for Ms. Orton even if her music is not something I’d usually put on for myself.

    1. Ms Orton’s breakthrough gig was as chanteuse for The Chemical Brothers, the”Dig Your Own Hole” album.  Check it out, her voice brings a wonderful balance to the digital noise.

  2. How funny – I just pulled her out for the first time in months last week and wondered what she’s been doing.

    Thanks for sharing – this song is stupendous.

  3. she’s incredible. we saw her play in a pub/showroom off to the side of the main casino floor in one of the better casinos in reno back after her first album came out. she started her show by introducing herself and saying, in a long, drawn out, sort of half-unbelieving voice, “….i’m playing in reeeenooo….. in a casiiiiinooooo…..”

    at that point, my partner looked at me and said, “she’s going to fire whoever booked this, and she’s never gonna play here ever again.” — sure enough, she’s never been back. her show was awesome, though. : )

  4. Thanks Amy!

    After listening to this song, I picked up Central Reservation (one of Beth Orton’s older albums) to tide me over until October. It’s a lot of (slightly melancholy) fun.

    1. I am still a huge fan of Central Reservation, but I was very disappointed to find out that Ms. Orton later came to mostly disown it as “over-produced” and not really reflective of her own aesthetic vision. Shame that, since I liked the aesthetic vision it represents very much.

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