Country Rock Revival
Canadian singer-songwriter Lindi Ortega has struck Americana country music gold with her latest album, Cigarettes and Truck Stops. On the ten tracks spanning the album, Ortega manages to simultaneously channel country greats Loretta Lynn and Emmylou Harris while adding a rocking Nancy Sinatra sensibility to her work.
Lyrically, Ortega comes across as a gypsy traversing the lonely landscape of bad relationships, whiskey, and the album’s namesake of cigarettes and truck stops. Musically, the album (especially the slower songs) echo as though they had been recorded in a church amidst steel guitars. This sound is perfectly complimented by Ortega’s voice which can hit the soprano in an aching, breathlessness that sounds at once sultry and vulnerable.
Standout tracks on the album include “Don’t Lean on Me,” “Demons Don’t Get Me Down,” and “Don’t Wanna Hear It.” “Heaven Has No Vacancy” shows off her vocal range and teeters on darker religious themes touched upon by Johnny Cash.
Even if you’re not inclined to listen to country music, Ortega spins a wonderful tapestry of layered harmonies and sings about relatable human themes of love and loss. Lindi Ortega proves her chops as a talented country musician on Cigarettes and Truck Stops. A collaboration with Jack White can’t be far behind.