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Tiny Desk Concerts from NPR's All Songs Considered features your favorite musicians performing at Bob Boilen's desk in the NPR Music office. This is the AUDIO only archive.Are you a fancy A/V nerd and need video? Visit our new Tiny Desk Concert video channel. Eye-popping video and all of the music you've come to expect.

Beth Orton: Tiny Desk Concert

English singer-songwriter Beth Orton is one of the best-known practitioners of a subgenre in which folk songs are set to electronic beats — it's a sound she employed to popular and powerful effect throughout the late '90s and early '00s, on hit albums such as Trailer Park, Central Reservation and Daybreaker. But these days, Orton has been increasingly willing to sweep aside digital accoutrements and just sit on a stool with an acoustic guitar, as this Tiny Desk Concert in the NPR Music offices makes plenty clear.

Performing well in advance of her new album's release — the Tucker Martine-produced Sugaring Season, her sixth full-length, comes out Oct. 2 — Orton was fairly new to most of these songs herself. She said she'd only played the new "Dawn Chorus" a handful of times publicly before unveiling it at the Tiny Desk, while "Candles" and "Poison Tree" won't penetrate the public consciousness until weeks if not months from now. But she made sure to close her warm, charming set on a comfortingly familiar note — appropriate for a singer who brought cupcakes to share with the crowd — as she dug out a spare, lovely rendition of 1999's "Sweetest Decline," from Central Reservation.

Set List:

  • "Candles"
  • "Dawn Chorus"
  • "Poison Tree"
  • "Sweetest Decline"
  • Credits:

    Producer: Stephen Thompson; Editor and Videographer: Michael Katzif; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; photo by Emily Bogle/NPR

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
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