Lindi Ortega’s new album, ‘Faded Gloryville’, is due out on August 7th. Produced by Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Anderson East), Colin Linden (who produced her album Cigarettes & Truckstops) and the Muscle Shoals based producing team John Paul White (formerly The Civil Wars) and Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes).
The album, inspired by the film Crazy Heart, an unflinching look at a singer on the descent from stardom, and Lindi’s own experience of being a singer on the fringes of country music. That being said, the album is not prescriptive to those in the industry. The album is what it is to be human; to have hopes, dreams and love that can come crashing down around us or never even get up off the ground.
“It isn’t just about music, it’s about anything that brings you down, whether it’s dreams not coming true or relationships not working out, and it’s message is this; you can go to place where you’re feeling really down about things but it’s what you do afterwards – do you decide to reside there forever, or do you leave and make the situation better – that matters. You have to travel through to Faded Gloryville to get to Paradise.”
Every song on the record is about this journey; the unrequited, the giving up, the disillusionment, the loneliness, and the longing we all experience in the many facets of our lives, whether that is the dreams we all chase or the love and belonging we all desperately seek. The song ‘To Love Somebody’, written by Barry and Robin Gibb, and covered by Nina Simone, is one of unrequited love and longing for someone who will never love you back and what that does to your heart.
“And I’m a woman/ Can’t you see what I am/ I live and I breathe for you/ But what good does that do/ If I ain’t got you.”
But it is also about pushing past all of this hurt and keeping the faith that what you’re doing is the exactly what you should be doing.
‘Faded Gloryville’ is a beautiful blend of traditional country and Americana but it’s the soulfulness on this record that really bleeds through onto each song, giving the album not only a groove but also something that is emotionally moving. This eclectic weave, or “witches brew” as Lindi calls it, allows for each song and its’ accompanying memory to really breathe and come alive.
From the final track on the album, ‘Half Moon’, a slow, sad bluesy song about how there is always a part of us that remains a mystery, which leaves you feeling as if you are standing on your back porch staring up at the moon on a balmy summer night.
“Sometimes when I see half your face/ And the rest of you is veiled in midnight lace/ It reminds me of myself.”
To the swaggering country song ‘Run Amuck’ about a no good guy with a seedy nightlife and an insatiable appetite for drugs, alcohol and women. With the groove inducing electric guitar riff, the fast paced percussion, which gains momentum as the track reaches its’ climax, giving the listener the sense that they are right there watching the drama unfold and the characters’ eventual downfall.
“When you run with the devil/ You burn everything you touch/ Bridges and money and/ Everyone you love.”
‘Faded Gloryville’ is a collection of photographs; some we hold onto tightly never wanting to let go and others we throw in the fire and leave behind. The opening song ‘Ashes’, about how quickly something magical and wonderful can burn out so quickly leaving you sitting amongst the ashes of those memories, is indicative of this record, and of life. That nothing ever stays the same for long.
“You showed me all this beautiful magic/ You disappeared in the smoke/ Of these cold dark ashes/ These cold dark ashes/ I guess I should have known.”