(The Grand Tour/Last Gang Records)
There’s a big divide between the two sides of mainstream country music today: Corporate country, and the real stuff, Americana. The former seems to be littered with overblown, overproduced, and overrated stars. In the midst of all this, Canadian singer/songwriter Lindi Ortega returns with her fourth full-length album, Faded Gloryville, on which she successfully continues her quest to keep country real—and cool.
The songs assembled on this smokin’ new release run the gamut of country styles. There are heartbreaking Hank Williams-style ballads: “Faded Gloryville,” “Someday Soon,” and “Half Moon.” There are cowtown rockers like “Rundown Neighborhood,” a story about trashy, co-dependent lovers, and drug addiction. There’s “I Ain’t That Girl,” on which Lindi informs an over-groomed pursuer that she “Ain’t gonna tell you any lies/I’ve got a thing for long-haired guys/You’re too clean-cut with polished shoes/I like ’em rugged with tattoos.”
John Paul White from The Civil Wars and Alabama Shakes’ Ben Tanner are on board in the producing department to help with with the soulful, Muscle Shoals-inspired numbers, like “Tell It Like It Is.” And telling it like it is is exactly what Lindi does here, with her raspy, heartfelt vocals drawing comparisons to the classic greats like Patsy, Loretta, and Dolly, as well as modern alternative country icons like Maria McKee, Neko Case, and Patty Griffin.
Lindi Ortega is just what the doctor order to help kick country music’s ass into shape. She’s tough, tender, feisty, and more talented than most. She’s downright the coolest thing to come tearing down this lonesome highway in quite a while. Next exit: Faded Gloryville. —MICHAEL LEVINE
You can purchase Faded Gloryville on iTunes now!
This guest post was written by Michael Levine. Images via Lindi Ortega.
LIZ GALVAO is the Music Editor at BUST Magazine. Her writing focuses on humor, feminism, and pop culture.