Beth Orton – “Mystery (Nico Muhly Remix)” (Stereogum Premiere)
Beth Orton’s 2012 release Sugaring Season yielded the exquisitely gorgeous “Mystery,” one of those spare, ethereal folk songs that wrings so much grace from acoustic plucking, simple orchestral flourishes, and a stirring lead vocal. Now, as Orton preps to tour the Northeast next month, she’s unveiling a remix of the track assembled by Nico Muhly, the contemporary classical composer who has contributed string arrangements to Grizzly Bear, the National, Antony, Mew, and Usher’s “Climax” among others. Muhly stripped out the warmth at the center of “Mystery” and replaced it with a chilling wave of white noise that completely reframes the melody while maintaining its beauty. Here’s what he had to say about it:
I was so delighted when I heard *Beth*’s track “Mystery.” It is, on its surface, a static song, but on repeated listening it has a deep and active undercurrent. My remix of it reflects that sense of never quite knowing where the bottom of the lake is.
Check out the track below, where you’ll also find Orton’s February tour dates.
Sugaring Season is out now via ANTI-. Catch Orton live at these dates:
02/04 Annapolis, MD @ Rams Head
02/05 Sellersville, PA @ Sellersville Theater
02/07 Hudson, NY @ Club Helsinki
02/08 Norfolk, CT @ Infinity Hall
02/09 Portland, ME @ Asylum
02/11 South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
02/13 Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
02/14 New York, NY @ The Allen Room
02/15 Westhampton Beach, NY @ Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center