Canadian country singer Lindi Ortega says this album is a first for her. “I’m actually taking a bit of a step back, being softer, having more nuance in the way I’m singing, and it’s been a welcome challenge,” she says.
During the recording sessions at Battle Tapes studio in East Nashville, Ortega and Nashville producer Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes Earle, Rayland Baxter) scaled back the boot-stomping, throwback country approach that she’s known for and instead polished a set of music that reflects her lineage: her father is Mexican, her mother Irish.
“I wanted to do something musical and cinematic. It was really important for me to expand my horizons and pave new ground for myself,” she says. “This is my first time singing in Spanish. I won’t claim to have the most perfect diction in the world with it. But I can say that I gave it my all, and that I felt very proud to be able to do that, because I’m a huge fan of Mexican culture. It’s very different than anything I’ve done before and I find that really exciting.”
As the album progresses, the listener gets the sense that the protagonist is leaving behind her past, whether it’s a crowd of unsavory characters in “You Ain’t Foolin’ Me” or perhaps a lost love from childhood in “Until My Dying Day.” Grief turns to desperation in “Nothing’s Impossible” and “The Comeback Kid.” The tides begin to turn on “Darkness Be Done.” About halfway through, with “Forever Blue,” the character makes a choice to follow the light.
“When you have experiences that are dark, you can always draw from that well. You don’t forget it. You don’t erase it – I don’t ever want to erase it because it makes me who I am,” Ortega says. “And it helps me relate to other people who have similar experiences. You can’t truly appreciate happiness in life unless you’ve understood what it’s like to feel the opposite way.”
Meanwhile, the song “Pablo” is inspired by her new husband, Daniel Huscroft. With a lilting melody and clever lyrics, “Lovers in Love” showcases Ortega’s skillful songwriting. Ortega concludes the album with “Gracia a la Vida” from the pen of Chilean composer Violetta Parra. The title translates as “Thank you to Life.”
For Liberty, Ortega composed roughly half of the songs alone. On the remaining tracks, her co-writers include Aaron Raitiere, Bruce Wallace, and John Paul White (The Civil Wars).
Throughout her career, Ortega has remained committed to putting on a good performance for her audience. Most nights, she will come out after the show to sign autographs, take photos, and just visit. Don’t miss a chance to catch this rising Canadian country superstar when she performs as part of our OnStage series on Monday, May 7 @ 8PM. Get your tickets now.