I'm just going to come right out and say it.... modern country music needs more Lindi Ortega!
This alt-country artist makes a big statement on her just released album, Tin Star, which is ironically titled in my opinion. In the male-dominated world of country music, Lindi shines brighter than any of the truck lights they sing about. She'll have you hypnotized with her fiery rasp and haunting melodies. Her voice is like a cross between Dolly Parton and Emmy Lou Harris. She's Johnny Cash meets Wonder Woman dressed all in black with her signature red cowboy boots. Have I got you interested yet?
She tells the tale of her struggles on the title track Tin Star... "Well, we don't got fame, no name in lights / No Billboard hits. No sold-out nights. / We got bills to pay, trying to make a way. / Some of us wait on luck; well, some just pray." She compares herself to an old tin star to the bright shiny stars in Nashville, Tennessee. “Well you don’t know me, I’m a nobody. / I sing on the Strip, for a few pennies. / I’ve got a busted string, and a broken guitar. / I’ve been singing for tips down at the local bar. / Like an old tin star I’m beat up and rusting, lost in the shining stars of Nashville, Tennessee / Well I wrote this song for those who are like me, lost in the shining stars, the shining stars." And this song just scratches the surface.
The opening track "Hard As This" could belong on a Quentin Tarantino film (that's a compliment) and is a lyrical masterpiece. "If you need time, here’s a clock / You can sit alone at night and listen to it tick and tock / When it stops, wind it up / I’ll be somewhere giving up on you." It's the ultimate break-up tune.
One of my favorite tracks is "This Is Not Surreal." She's so vulnerable and a little gloomy on the ballad. She draws you in with her emotional quiver. Her vibrato is fragile yet confident on "Something For You" as she tries to find the right words to express her feelings. I like the boot-stomping "Gypsy Child" which is probably auto-biographical.
The album is about chasing your dreams and doing what you love despite the struggles. You don't have to be a singer in Nashville to relate to a theme like that. It really is a gem of an album from start to finish. One of the best this year. Shine on, Lindi!