By Dan Miller, Published: July 31 Washington Post
Kindred spirits: Aimee Mann, Kristin Hersh
Show: With Dawn Landes on Wednesday at the 9:30 Club. Doors open at 7 p.m. 202-265-0930. www.930.com. $25.
Beth Orton’s vocal delivery is nothing if not cool. Not cool as in hip or trendy, but cool as in calm and unflappable. Her voice is a gorgeous instrument — airy and lilting with a twinge of melancholy. Her singing is consistently understated and patient, but her style doesn’t lend itself to being overly expressive.
Orton’s sixth album, “Sugaring Season,” is her first in six years. And, true to form, the waters are mostly smooth for the journey. There are songs that veer toward the somber (the string-laden “Something More Beautiful”) and the cheerful (the spritely, baroque confection “See Through Blue”), but Orton’s emotions pull back when they approach higher peaks.
(Photo by Jo Metson Scott) – Beth Orton will perform in the Washington, D.C. area.