Last month, Beth Orton announced her first new album in six years, Weather Alive, with its title track, which made it onto our best songs of the week list. Today, she’s back with another new song from it, the gently expansive “Forever Young,” which features backing vocals from Grey McMurray, synths from A Winged Victory For The Sullen’s Dustin O’Halloran, and double bass from Ali Friend. Also featured on the track are contributions from drummer Tom Skinner and bassist Tom Herbert, who play on the whole album. The result is a track that’s singular and captivating.
In some press materials, Orton talked a bit about how she balanced working with other people while maintaining her own vision:
It’s true that I’ve spent a lifetime handing elements of my work over to men in a room before I’m ready and having them reinterpret my perception, add chords to make something else happen and sometimes in the process take the music to a place I had no intention of going, it’s subtle the ways that could happen but to be able to hold my own intention throughout has been a powerful experience.
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 things just kept going wrong. This record 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.
Listen to “Forever Young” below.
Weather Alive is out 9/23 via Partisan Records.