Lindi Ortega isn’t your usual country singer. The Toronto-born artist has been compared to a myriad of female singers ranging from Dolly Parton to Janis Joplin to k.d. lang. Her music often feels more like rock with a country edge than vice versa. Her latest album, Tin Star, has been incredibly well received across Canada and in the US. Tin Star is Lindi’s third release and by far her most accomplished. Exclaim Magazine says, “Ortega’s natural appeal to both punk and country fans stems from an undeniably powerful voice and the rough-edged, old school twang in her songs.” While appealing to two very different styles of music like country and punk may seem near impossible, Tin Star does just that by bringing a gothic and macabre style to the slow songs, and a rockabilly twang to the upbeat tracks. The diversity of the album means that there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
In 2011, Lindi Ortega moved to Nashville, Tennessee leaving her hometown of Toronto and her well-known reputation as a hard working indie artist. Since the move, Lindi has been hard at work, releasing two albums and touring extensively. She is currently on tour to support her new album and has a stop lined up at Van Gogh’s Ear on December 5 to play with Devin Cuddy. After that she’s off to the U.K. for the month of January. Lindi isn’t new to international tours: she supported The Killer’s in 2010 and 2011 as a backup singer for Brandon Flowers. Adding to her fame, Lindi was also a nominee for two Juno Awards in 2012 for her album Little Red Boots. The album was also featured on the Polaris Music Prize Long List, as was her next album Cigarettes and Truckstops. Lindi promoted that album by touring with well known punk band Social Distortion, opening for them in 2012. That in itself proves Lindi’s versatility across genres.
ML: The last year has seen some serious success for your new album, Tin Star. What is your favourite thing about this album that makes it stand out from the pack?
Lindi Ortega: The song lived and died alone. I don’t know how many people write songs about digging up the dead and laying them in their bed. But a creepy person like me will write about that kinda thing, love songs for dead people. I guess the fact that I go there in my songwriting makes it unique.
ML: You’ve really managed to cross boundaries between country and other music genres. Was that you intention when you started making music, or did it just happen naturally? What are some of your non-country musical influences?
LI: I think it happened really organically. I just make music that’s influenced by what I love. I listen to a lot of classic and outlaw country, but I also really loves blues, soul, classic rock, rockabilly and I think that all comes through in varying degrees.
ML: It’s been a few years since you moved away from Ontario. What do you miss the most? What do you miss the least?
LI: I miss my mother the most. I miss the freezing cold the least.
ML: We are pumped that you’ve decided to hit Guelph next week! The next few months have you touring internationally. What places are you most excited to visit?
ML: What’s the new year look like for Lindi Ortega? Any plans lined up after you finish touring?
LI: My plans are always… More recording, more touring… And I’ll do it till the wheels fall off!
Whether you’re a fan of country, rock, indie, or punk, I highly recommend you go check out Lindi Ortega at Van Gogh’s on December 5. It’s almost guaranteed to be a great night.
For more details about this event, you can visit http://musiclives.ca/events/lindi-ortega-devin-cuddy-band/