Music Review: 'Faded Gloryville,' Lindi Ortega She is a Goth-looking Canadian singer who plays country music. Reviewer Meredith Ochs says Lindi Ortega is genre-defying in both her music and personal style.
NPR logo

Music Review: 'Faded Gloryville,' Lindi Ortega

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/432762401/432762402" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Music Review: 'Faded Gloryville,' Lindi Ortega

Review

Music Reviews

Music Review: 'Faded Gloryville,' Lindi Ortega

Music Review: 'Faded Gloryville,' Lindi Ortega

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/432762401/432762402" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

She is a Goth-looking Canadian singer who plays country music. Reviewer Meredith Ochs says Lindi Ortega is genre-defying in both her music and personal style.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

People have compared Lindi Ortega's voice to Dolly Parton's but with a darker edge. The Canadian singer got a big break back in 2008, a deal with a major label. But she was dropped when the company decided to put its resources into another artist - Lady Gaga. Ortega has fared better after a move to Nashville, but even as her star keeps rising, she's titled her sixth album, "Faded Gloryville." Reviewer Meredith Ochs considers why.

MEREDITH OCHS, BYLINE: Lindi Ortega's new album, "Faded Gloryville" isn't about being a has-been or a never-was. It's about those moments in life when hope gives way to uncertainty.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FADED GLORYVILLE")

LINDI ORTEGA: (Singing) There ain't no stars in faded Gloryville. We've chased our dreams into the ground.

OCHS: For a lot of people, there are times of intense introspection. As a musician, Ortega experienced many of these moments, playing gigs to few, working odd jobs to pay the rent, maybe wondering if the world even knew what to make of a Goth-looking Canadian who plays country music. But most of Ortega's songs examine what happens when the uncertainty is about relationships.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TELL IT LIKE IT IS")

ORTEGA: (Singing) Before I say goodbye, before I tell you I should go, if you want me, baby, you're going to have to let me know 'cause I can't read your mind.

OCHS: Sometimes languid and lovelorn, Lindi Ortega mines deep Southern soul music to expand her torchy twang. It's a leap in sophistication from her previous albums. Working with musicians from the Civil Wars and the Alabama Shakes, Ortega gets a boost from a dose of the famed Muscle Shoals sound of the 1960s and '70s. Forged in an Alabama studio and heard on hundreds of R-and-B and rock records, it's known for a distinct reverb-y thwack of guitar, a fringe of keyboards and the gentle echo of the room itself.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOMEDAY SOON")

ORTEGA: (Singing) From this lonesome, lonely road I've been on for so long. I've been spending all my nights on someone that just ain't right.

OCHS: Lindi Ortega spends a lot of her new album trying to find her footing in an ephemeral romance, or looking for a way out of one that's expiration date has long passed. At the same time, she's self-assured, displaying the confidence of someone who has overcome challenging times and grown into their own skin.

On this song, Ortega's cheeky kiss-off is directed at a guy, but it's also a challenge to everyone else to accept her as she is - genre-defying in both her music and her personal style.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I AIN'T THE GIRL")

ORTEGA: (Singing) You can keep your suit and tie, find a pretty little wife, find the girl you're looking for. I ain't the girl that lives next door. I ain't the girl for you.

CORNISH: Meredith Ochs is a talk show host and DJ at Sirius XM Radio. She reviewed "Faded Gloryville" by Lindi Ortega.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I AIN'T THE GIRL")

ORTEGA: (Singing) I like 'em rugged with tattoos. You drive a really fancy car. I like a truck with rusty parts. I ain't the girl you're looking for. I ain't the girl that lives next door. I ain't the girl for you. So go ahead, darling, find somebody new.

Copyright © 2015 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.