Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Beth Orton 

Comfort of Strangers (Astralwerks)

This singer-songwriter from London got her start singing on tracks by mid-'90s electronic-music mavens like William Orbit and the Chemical Brothers. They provided her with fleshed-out musical settings before her songwriting had evolved to the point where she could provide her own; in return, she gave her collaborators' work an element of humanity.

Since Trailer Park, her celebrated 1996 debut, Orton has gradually dispensed with the techno-folk trappings that defined her early solo work. On Comfort of Strangers she does away with them entirely; it's an album of intimately rendered acoustic elegies, focused more than ever on Orton's singing and guitar-playing. Producer Jim O'Rourke (who's worked with Sonic Youth and Wilco, among many others) gives Orton's performances a beautifully understated clarity: warm guitars, rich organ, percussion that sounds like someone tapping your eardrum while wearing a mitten. Her songwriting reflects that sonic coziness; Orton's in confessional mode throughout Comfort. The album seems overly mellow -- until you dig in and root around.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Mikael Wood

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • We Banjo 3 @ The Kent Stage

    • Sun., Dec. 5
  • Greg Morton @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Sun., Dec. 5
  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation