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“I Kept Getting Messier and More Ill and Things Just Kept Going Wrong”: Beth Orton Explores Personal Tragedy and Turmoil With New Album, ‘Weather Alive’

Beth Orton
(Image credit: Eliot Lee Hazel)

Folktronica acoustic guitar heroine Beth Orton (opens in new tab) has released a new track called “Friday Night” – the final teaser from her long-awaited new album, Weather Alive (opens in new tab).

Due out on September 23, the LP is the British singer-songwriter’s first on the Partisan Records label and follows up 2016’s Kidsticks (opens in new tab).

Featuring drummer Tom Skinner (from Radiohead spinoff band The Smile,) multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily (Lou Reed, Nels Cline, Marc Ribot) and bassist Tom Herbert of Mercury Prize nominees The Invisible and Polar Bear, Weather Alive appears after the passing of Orton‘s close musical companions Andrew Weatherall and Hal Willner.

The work also arrives following Orton’s incorrectly diagnosed health issues.

“I wanted to be one of those women who are all sorted and put together some day, but at 40, I kept getting messier and more ill and things just kept going wrong,” explains the artist whose recording career began nearly 30 years ago with the debut album Superpinkymandy.

“[Weather Alive] explores all of that. I’m talking about my experiences possibly in a more personal way then I ever have but the important part will be how this music makes other people feel.

“It’s not a finished masterpiece, it is a collaboration with time, of someone struggling to make sense. And in that struggle, something beautiful got made.”

Beth Orton

Beth Orton, 2019 (Image credit: Ollie Millington/Getty Images)

In support of her new album, Orton will be embarking on a headlining tour (opens in new tab) of the U.K. and North America later this year.

Dates are as follows:

  • 7 OCT 2022 / UK / Birmingham / Academy 2
  • 8 OCT 2022 / UK / Brighton / St. Bartholomew’s Church
  • 9 OCT 2022 / UK / London / KOKO
  • 10 OCT 2022 / UK / Norwich / Arts Centre
  • 12 OCT 2022 / UK / Bristol / St. George’s
  • 13 OCT 2022 / UK / Glasgow / Classic Grand
  • 15 OCT 2022 / UK / Manchester / RCMN Concert Hall
  • 16 OCT 2022 / UK / Leeds / Brudenell Social Club
  • 1 NOV 2022 / Washington, DC / Sixth & I
  • 2 NOV 2022 / Philadelphia, PA / World Café Live
  • 3 NOV 2022 / Montclair, NJ / First Congregational Church
  • 5 NOV 2022 / New York, NY / Bowery Ballroom
  • 6 NOV 2022 / Somerville, MA / Crystal Ballroom
  • 7 NOV 2022 / Montreal, QUE / Le Studio TD
  • 8 NOV 2022 / Toronto, ONT / The Great Hall
  • 10 NOV 2022 / Chicago, IL / The Mayfield
  • 11 NOV 2022 / Milwaukee, WI / Pabst Theater
  • 12 NOV 2022 / Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN / The Cedar
  • 14 NOV 2022 / Denver, CO / Oriental Theater
  • 16 NOV 2022 / Phoenix, AZ / Musical Instrument Museum
  • 17 NOV 2022 / Los Angeles, CA / Teragram Ballroom
  • 18 NOV 2022 / San Francisco, CA / Bimbo's
  • 20 NOV 2022 / Portland, OR / Mississippi Studios
  • 21 NOV 2022 / Seattle, WA / Neptune
  • 22 NOV 2022 / Vancouver, BC / Hollywood Theater

Beth Orton Weather Alive album artwork

(Image credit: Partisan Records)

Pre-order Weather Alive here (opens in new tab).

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as GuitaristTotal Guitar, Guitar World (opens in new tab)Guitar Player (opens in new tab) and MusicRadar (opens in new tab) in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.