After watching the Toronto-based country-folk singer-songwriter perform before Noah and the Whale in Chicago, I sought out an EP online. The Drifter E.P. (Cherrytree Records, 2008) is a short, simple sampling of her live show with a couple gems (one polished, one rough) amongst the four tracks. Starting with the last, the rough gem is entitled Drifter delivered cleverly and genuinely as a voice mail message. Peaking with a vibrato, Lindi calls out to her “drifter, the lonely traveler” to see if “I could be the one to make you stay, for a little while, with me.”
The other polished stone comes by with All My Friends. Weaving her way through tales of sorrows and pills to calm herself, the strength remains in simplicity. It’s just her voice and her guitar, which are more than most possess as her command in singing top the majority of emerging female singers today. Her vocals hold the texture of Alanis Morrisette and the dynamics of Tori Amos, but with the indie sensibility of early Jenny Lewis.
Admittedly, if you dwell a bit on the lyrics or music, it sounds basic. However, coupled with the excellent ability that rests in her voice and a focus to grow and branch from that point, Lindi Ortega could blossom into a superb singer-songwriter. (As long as she doesn’t sacrifice the emotion in her delivery to do so.) The EP is a deal at only $2.49 via iTunes.