Put your cowboy boots on, get in the saddle and prepare for an adventure. Lindi Ortega has escaped the shackles of her past and she’s ready to ride out into the sunset, leaving nothing but dust behind her. Her new concept album Liberty puts the West into country and western, and freedom has never sounded this good.
We ride Through The Dust together in the first track – just imagine the opening credits slowly rolling by as the cowgirl heads across the desert. But then on Afraid of the Dark her horse is off running scared. Haunting vocals and atmospheric pedal steel create a sinister feel. Don’t come any closer, she warns any lonely desperado who might want to fall in love with her.
Her story continues with a song about getting revenge on her enemies. You Ain’t Foolin Me has her pistols drawn – she doesn’t like the way this girl acts and she’s had enough. Lindi sings like she’s one tough gunslinger.
Til My Dyin Day is a classic gothic country heartbreaker. She’s all in black sitting at her lover’s grave, weeping over her loss. It’s not quite as dark as her best song Lived and Died Alone, but the vintage style is equally enchanting.
The Comeback Kid is an anthem where she picks herself up off the ground and tries to bury her past. She’s after the one who hurt her and she’s going to serve some justice. Never underestimate this girl.
Darkness Be Gone is another chilling moment where her naturally breathy vocals work to create the atmosphere. She wants to slay this demon darkness that follows her everywhere. Forever Blue is her finally turning to the sun, to the blue. We’ll be fine, my horse and I, she sings. Then the gentle breeze of In The Clear lightens the mood some more. Life is peaceful out here, in a place that sounds as bittersweet as Faded Gloryville did before.
And then Pablo enters, emerging like a dream. He’s the boy in the white cowboy hat and poncho ready to steal her heart. These songs might be presented as fiction but you think her recent marriage must have inspired this positive turn to her work. For example Lovers in Love is one of the most romantic songs I’ve heard all year. And it’s got some sweet harmonica on it too.
The title track Liberty is an ode to freedom and hope, with its twangy western guitars. Now she’s in love she can go anywhere. The mention of Mexico in this song leads us nicely into the Latin finale, honouring Lindi’s heritage. Gracias a La Vida is a lovely life affirming way to finish.
I backed this project on Kickstarter and it is incredible to hear it now brought to life. Liberty is a thunderbolt of a record, with Lindi riding through town and leaving us all standing in her wake. Get a copy now and watch in awe as she heads off towards the horizon again.