Showing posts with label lindi ortega. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lindi ortega. Show all posts

Sunday, April 22, 2018

video review: 'liberty' by lindi ortega

So I have to admit, I'm a little surprised to realize that Lindi Ortega wound up blocking me on Twitter... shame, I thought this album was pretty damn good and she may never see it.

Anyway, next up is some more country (albeit of a slightly different stripe), so stay tuned!

album review: 'liberty' by lindi ortega

So I've talked before about narrative-driven concept records in country music, and while you'd think they'd be more common given the genre's penchant for telling stories... look, I can barely say that with a straight face anymore, especially in the checklist-driven mainstream scene. But even outside of that, for a country artist to take a real risk and build a coherent, multi-part narrative over an entire project... that requires a level of ambition, forethought, and oftentimes budget that can be daunting for any act, especially in the indie scene.

But that wasn't going to stop Lindi Ortega this time. After she broke out in 2012 with the excellent Cigarettes & Truckstops that won her a ton of justifiable critical acclaim, most of which carried into her 2013 follow-up Tin Star, I had the feeling that she was on the cusp of really taking at least the indie scene by storm, if not more. And yet while I mostly liked 2015's Faded Gloryville, it was also clear that her vintage, rockabilly-infused country lane was starting to lose its luster in the face of an increasingly oversaturated scene and songs that just didn't rise to her best... and beyond all of that, there's just not a lot of money in that brand of indie country, and Nashville is an expensive city. So she left it altogether, came back to Canada, and set out to make her most ambitious project to date, putting aside the rockabilly tones for something grander and rougher, pulling on spaghetti western bombast like that of Ennio Morricone for the gritty melodrama to come. Three acts, fifteen tracks, with songs in Spanish and English blending mariachi with her smoky blend of noir and country rock, I've been wanting to cover this for weeks... and now that it's up the schedule, let's dig in: what did we get on Liberty?

Friday, August 14, 2015

video review: 'faded gloryville' by lindi ortega

Man, I wish this album was stronger - it always kind of stinks to not give stellar reviews for artists you really like, but it happens.

Next up, either Frank Turner or Melanie Martinez. Either way, both will be out in the next few days, so stay tuned!

album review: 'faded gloryville' by lindi ortega

You know, considering how much indie country I cover and especially on the Canadian side, I'm a little astounded I've never covered Lindi Ortega. Maybe it was poor timing - her last album Tin Star dropped in late 2013 where I was still very much getting a handle on my reviews - but let's make up for lost time and discuss one of the more fascinating indie country acts you'll hear. Born in Toronto, she spent most of the 2000s trying to land a deal through a selection of independently released albums and EPs before signing with Interscope through Cherrytree in 2008... and if you know anything about Cherrytree and a rising star named Lady Gaga affiliated with that label, it was perhaps the worst possible timing for her. It wasn't long before Lindi returned to the indie scene and signed with Last Gang - the label behind K-OS, Lights, and Metric - which proved to be a much better fit and gave her more flexibility to drop records.

And starting with Little Red Boots in 2011, she did just that. Blending a dusty brand of alternative country with a vintage rockabilly image and jazz-cabaret inspired vocals, Lindi had a theatricality that might have felt broad if it wasn't for the great textured production and sharp writing. She followed it with the dustier snarl and general all-around awesomeness of Cigarettes & Truckstops in 2012, which started earning her some serious critical acclaim - and for good reason, as Lindi's sultry vocals had a lived-in reality that belied the smoky glam and dark lyrics. Lana Del Rey wishes she could appropriate vintage flair this well, it's stunning. She followed it with Tin Star in 2013 working with producer Dave Cobb, and while he definitely brought his brand of vintage production that worked wonders for the atmosphere, I missed some of the smoky, noir darkness and ragged edge which was replaced with a gentler, more neotraditional sound. And frankly, with Dave Cobb handling production for her newest album Faded Gloryville, I expected more of the same. And of course it'd be good, but would it reach the greatness she hit with Cigarettes & Truckstops?