Beth Orton doesn’t just hit a note — the English singer slides up to it, deflects it and edges by it. She always makes the process interesting, and her voice is what counts on her new full-length, Sugaring Season. Recorded in Portland, Ore., with producer Tucker Martine, Sugaring sports subtle string arrangements and sprinkles of piano accompaniment, while drummer Brian Blade keeps things moving with deceptive ease. Sugaring is Orton’s first full-length in six years, and there are moments when she sounds like Dusty Springfield or Sandy Denny, and that’s not to mention the overtones of Carole King and Joni Mitchell. Played by Marc Ribot and Ted Barnes, the guitar parts evoke such English folk-rockers as Bert Jansch and Nic Jones, but Orton’s fusion of pop brio and folkie melancholia is her own — her vocal turn on the new record’s “Poison Tree” is amazing.