Lindi Ortega – Til The Goin’ Gets Gone (Shadowbox)

Lindi Ortega’s new EP Til the Goin’ Gets Gone features 3 originals and 1 cover- all of which will break your heart. Striking a beautiful balance between finding her own new voice and capitalizing on her classic country sound, this EP situates Ortega as an artist finding her place in her own musical world.

After struggling to find her creative muse following her fourth album, Lindi Ortega found some peace and quiet to contemplate her future in the music industry, and whether or not she wanted to remain a part of it. Til the Goin’ Gets Gone encompasses the peace and quiet Ortega found, and showcases her talents in a way previously unseen.

The EP features songs with titles revealing of the artist’s frame of mind, including title song Til the Goin’ Gets Gone, What a Girl’s Gotta Do, Final Bow and a cover of Townes Van Zandt’s Waiting Around to Die. Ortega’s struggle with finding her creativity has lead her to a place of quiet reflection- seen in the lyrics of all of these songs- and most poignantly in Final Bow, where she sings “one last song for old time’s sake”.

The title track Til The Goin’ Gets Gone tells Ortega’s own story of perseverance in trying to continue her music career.  The track begins with a typical country sound of distinct guitar plucking, and lyrics that kick off with a classical image of “wheels that keep spinning”. The song uses imagery of travel and being stuck to give Ortega a chance to explain herself and the position of the album, which focuses more on her storytelling than her previous work… and the stories are beautifully sad.

What A Girl’s Gotta Do slows down in pace and speeds up in emotion in a song that feels like an emotional outpour of injustice, resulting in haunting vocals and a melody carried by a guitar that cuts through to the bone. Beautifully performed, this track is emotionally charged and appeals to all aching girls out there… and not in a Cyndi Lauper kinda way.

Ortega’s cover of Townes Van Zandt’s Waiting Around To Die features next in the EP and could not be better placed. This track feels like the climax of Ortega’s struggle. Ortega’s version is a stripped-back, acoustic version of an already harrowing song, and serves as an ode to the country music that re-inspired Ortega to make this EP. The song transforms the EP into an act of semi-resignation, perfectly followed up by the last track Final Bow.

Written as her potential last-song-ever, Final Bow says goodbye to the rat race of the music industry and every day life in a final act of indignation towards the scene. With opening lyrics such as “I can close the curtain if I want to, I can shut he show down if I choose”, its no mystery to the listener that Ortega has leaving on her mind. A heavier, more somber tone is present in this final track- which acts as both a threat and a plea- created by moody, truncated notes from a piano.

With its stark and subtle production techniques, Til The Goin’ Gets Gone is a great example of quality over quantity, and storytelling by using an entire EP rather than individual tracks. A harrowing collection of songs has resuscitated Ortega as an artist, now found somewhere of her own definition. The synthesis of this EP allows Ortega’s listeners a view in to her soul… a place she has clearly been struggling to find, define and listen to herself.   

Caitlin Harris