Published Aug 07, 2015By any measure, Lindi Ortega is a veteran. Six full-length records into her career — her latest, Faded Gloryville, drops August 7 on Grand Tour / Last Gang — Ortega has worked for over a decade to build an audience for her throwback arrangements and heart-stopping vocals.
The Toronto native made the move down to Nashville a few years back, and has since managed to establish herself in that famously tough Music City. Her last record, Tin Star, made several year-end best-of lists, and she has been raking in the plaudits from such mainstream outlets as Rolling Stone and Mojo. To most observers, Ortega is still on the way up. So why is the title track from her new album all about the downward slope after success? Turns out, Jeff Bridges has a lot to do with it.
"Faded Gloryville" was "inspired by watching the movie Crazy Heart with Jeff Bridges," Ortega tells Exclaim! "It was the opening scene [when] he was playing a bowling alley. He was down on his luck, he couldn't find $10 in his pocket. He was calling his manager wondering about getting some other gigs. He had a bit of an addiction problem and the venue wouldn't give him a drink. And I sat there watching this scene about this older musician and I legitimately asked myself if I could end up like that. If I could be like Bad Blake in Crazy Heart. It got me thinking about why I decided to do music as a career, and it got me thinking about how big and grand my dreams were, how romantic my ideas were, and where it's all come to from there.
"So I kind of envisioned 'Faded Gloryville' as this place filled with people who initially had really big dreams but who've started to see that reality isn't quite what they thought. And some people take up residence there and become bitter and jaded, and some people reassess their dreams and move on. It's a state of mind, really, more than anything."