Lindi Ortega

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Lindi Ortega
Ortega performing in Paris, France February 24, 2012
Ortega performing in Paris, France
February 24, 2012
Background information
Born (1980-05-28) May 28, 1980 (age 42)
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, piano
Years active2000–present
LabelsShadowbox Music

Lindi Ortega (born May 28, 1980) is a Canadian country singer-songwriter from Toronto, Ontario, who had lived in Nashville, Tennessee then married and moved to Western Canada in 2017. She spent nearly a decade as an independent artist in the Toronto music scene,[1] releasing two albums and an EP in that time. She has been described as "Toronto's best kept secret"[2] and nicknamed "Indie Lindi".[3] Ortega left Last Gang management and records in November 2017. She has since released Til The Goin' Gets Gone EP and her full-length Liberty on her own label Shadowbox Music. Her voice has been described as a blend of Dolly Parton's, Johnny Cash's, and Emmylou Harris'.[4]

At the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011, Ortega toured extensively as a backup singer for Brandon Flowers, the lead singer of the Killers, in support of his solo album, Flamingo. The tour included dates in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Mexico, as well as televised live performances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Later ... with Jools Holland and at Abbey Road Studios. There were also a number of festival dates in the United States and Europe, including Coachella, T in the Park and Oxegen.

On February 7, 2012, Ortega was nominated for two Juno Awards – New Artist of the Year and Roots & Traditional Album: Solo.[5]

On June 14, 2012, Ortega's album Little Red Boots was named as a longlisted nominee for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize.[6] In June 2013, her album Cigarettes & Truckstops was longlisted for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize.

In July 2014, Ortega was nominated for two Canadian Country Music Association Awards – Female Artist of the Year and Roots Artist of the Year. Her album, Tin Star was also nominated for Album Design of the Year.[7]

Personal life and career beginnings[edit]

Lindi Ortega is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is of Mexican-Irish descent. She was 17 when – after picking up the guitar that hung on the wall of the family home – she wrote "Faded Dress", which she has said was "the first in a long line of heartbreak songs". It was about her first boyfriend dumping her the day before the prom. "I wrote about the dress hanging in the closet, that never got worn. It was sad, but I thought it would be better the next year. But nobody asked me."[8]

Ortega spent years trawling around record labels as the Toronto scene dubbed her "Indie Lindi". In 2008, she signed to major label Interscope, releasing one EP before they directed their resources into something more conventionally radio-friendly. Ortega remembers "singing my heart out for suits with BlackBerries. Your emotions are all over the place – and they're staring at the ceiling."[8]

After a decade of making ends meet by working in pizza places and fleamarkets, in 2011, she signed to Last Gang.[8]

On December 29, 2016, Ortega announced via Facebook that she was engaged.[9]

In 2018, Ortega revealed that she has suffered from body dysmorphic disorder.[10]

Charity work[edit]

A self-described bird lover, Ortega organised and was the featured performer at a benefit concert for the World Parrot Refuge in Coombs, British Columbia on March 3, 2010.[11] The concert was held at The Supermarket in Toronto and featured a collection of local musicians that included Sara Kamin, Mandippal Jandu, The Framework, Emma-Lee, The DoneFors, and Dylan Murray.[12]


The Taste of Forbidden Fruit[edit]

Ortega's debut album, The Taste of Forbidden Fruit, was released in 2001. In her review of the album, Coreen Wolanski of Exclaim! described Ortega's voice as "the closest thing to vocal perfection" she had heard in a long time.[13] CBC Radio 3 described the album as follows:

Lindi seasons her musical scores like a deranged chef whipping up a culinary creation. A dash of country, a pinch of folk, a sprinkle of rock, and a smidgeon of jazz! Last but not least, to add a little spice, how about some vaudeville cabaret? No, this is not a textbook recipe, but rather a mystical scribbling from an ancient scroll. Lindi is enigmatic and enchanting with a voice that can be cheeky and brassy or haunting and ghostly. Her music derives from the metaphysical in a sphere that warps time and defies orthodoxy. This madness is a pure passion that has never met the technicalities of music theory.[14]

The song Nothing at All from this album was used in the online campaign for the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty.[15]

Fall from Grace[edit]

In late 2005 Ortega began advertising her new album as coming in the autumn of 2006[3] having declared, "People kept pushing and prodding and finally I saw the light".[16] Fall From Grace was released on February 6, 2007.[17] In reviewing the album described Fall From Grace as "the quintessential album of the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of life as an indie singer."[2]


In 2007 Ortega collaborated with Juno Award winning producer Ron Lopata on "I Need", a song for the compilation album Year of the Monkey – 68. Lopata has since produced Ortega's two EPs and occasionally tours with her as her keyboardist. Ortega's eponymous EP was initially sold at concerts and on March 5, 2008 was made available online from independent music retailer[18] When the initial run sold out the EP was discontinued. After being signed to Cherrytree Records / Interscope Records in August 2008 Ortega released her second EP, The Drifter E.P., to critical success. Ortega then began an extensive touring schedule which included touring with Noah & the Whale in the autumn of 2008,[19] performing at the 2009 SXSW festival in Austin, TX in March,[20] and opening for Kevin Costner & The Modern West's tour in July.[21][22] In September 2009 Ortega performed on a cross-Canada tour as opening act for Keane's North American tour.[23][24] After the success of labelmate Lady Gaga, Cherrytree decided they would focus on dance / pop acts and Ortega signed with Last Gang Records.

Little Red Boots[edit]

Ortega announced on her blog that a new full-length album with Juno Award winning producer, Ron Lopata, would be released on June 7, 2011 on Last Gang.[25] A release party was held at The Dakota Tavern in Toronto on June 6, 2011. The album and song, Little Red Boots, are named after her signature red boots that she got while on tour with Kevin Costner and his rock country band Modern West. The album received critical acclaim and was nominated for two Juno Awards as well as a place on the Polaris Music Prize Long List.

Cigarettes & Truckstops[edit]

In December 2011, Ortega moved to Nashville, TN where she began working with producer Colin Linden to record her album Cigarettes & Truckstops. The album was released on Last Gang Records on October 2, 2012. In support of this album, Ortega toured the United States and Canada, opening for Southern California punk legends Social Distortion. In June 2013, the album was longlisted for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize.

Tin Star[edit]

Ortega released her third album for Last Gang, Tin Star, on October 8, 2013.

Faded Gloryville[edit]

Ortega released her fourth full-length album, Faded Gloryville, on Last Gang Records' imprint Grand Tour Records on August 7, 2015.


Ortega released Liberty, her fifth full-length album, on Shadowbox Music on March 30, 2018.[26]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions


US Country
The Taste of Forbidden Fruit[30]
  • Release date: November 30, 2001
  • Label: Independent
 —  —  —
Fall from Grace[2]
  • Release date: August 13, 2007
  • Label: Independent
 —  —  —
Little Red Boots 27  —  —
Cigarettes & Truckstops
  • Release date: October 2, 2012
  • Label: Last Gang Records
42  — 71
Tin Star
  • Release date: October 8, 2013
  • Label: Last Gang Records
35  — 56
Faded Gloryville
  • Release date: August 7, 2015
  • Label: Last Gang Records
12 38 39
  • Release date: March 30, 2018
  • Label: Shadowbox Music
13 28 48
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Title Details
Lindi Ortega E.P.
  • Release date: 2008
  • Label: Independent
The Drifter E.P.[32]
Tennessee Christmas E.P.
  • Release date: November 21, 2011
  • Label: Last Gang Records
iTunes Session[33]
  • Release date: June 17, 2014
  • Label: Last Gang Records
Til The Goin' Gets Gone
  • Release date: March 17, 2017
  • Label: Shadowbox Music

Compilations and soundtracks[edit]

Date of
Title Song(s) Label
2004 Maybe This Christmas Tree[34] Fairytale of New York (duet with Pilate) Nettwerk
2005 The Surreal Gourmet – A Feast For Your Ears[35] Tomorrow You'll Say Goodbye Warner Music Canada
2007 Year of the Monkey – 68[36] I Need independent
2010 Major Lazer – Lazers Never Die EP[37] Good Enuff (Featuring Collie Budz & Lindi Ortega) Interscope Records

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Director
2011 "Angels" Lindi Ortega
"Little Lie"[38] Margaret Malandruccolo
"Black Fly"[39] Michael Maxxis
"Christmas Eve with You"[40] David Foss Ricci
2012 "The Day You Die"[41] Ante Kovac
"Cigarettes & Truckstops" Lindi Ortega
2013 "Murder of Crows"[42] Lindi Ortega
"Tin Star"[43] Michael Maxxis
2014 "Lived and Died Alone" Jeth Weinrich
2015 "Ashes" Lindi Ortega
2016 "Someday Soon"
2017 "Waiting 'Round To Die" Lindi Ortega
2018 "The Comeback Kid"[44] Andrey Sorokin
"Liberty" [45] Travis Nicholson

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Result
2011 2012 Polaris Music Prize Polaris Music Prize Long List – Little Red Boots Nominated
2012 2013 Polaris Music Prize Polaris Music Prize Long List – Cigarettes & Truckstops Nominated
Juno Awards of 2012 New Artist of the Year Nominated
Roots & Traditional Album of the Year – Solo – Little Red Boots Nominated
2013 Canadian Country Music Association Roots Artist or Group of the Year Nominated
2014 Juno Awards of 2014 Roots & Traditional Album of the Year – Solo – Tin Star Nominated
Canadian Country Music Association Roots Artist or Group of the Year Won
Female Artist of the Year Nominated
Album Design of the Year – Tin Star Nominated
2015 Roots Artist or Group of the Year Won
2016 Roots Artist or Group of the Year Nominated
2017 Country Music Association of Ontario Roots Artist or Group of the Year Nominated


  1. ^ "Lindi Ortega". The Living Room. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c "Fall From Grace / Lindi Ortega". Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Lindi Ortega". October 25, 2005. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  4. ^ Miller, Jr., Neil. "REVIEW: Lindi Ortega – The Drifter EP". UR Chicago Online Magazine. Retrieved September 7, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "2012 JUNO Award Nominees". Archived from the original on February 21, 2013. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  6. ^ "The 2012 Polaris Music Prize Long List Is Here". Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
  7. ^ "2014 CCMA Award Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Simpson, Dave (January 27, 2014). "Country musician Lindi Ortega: 'I'm a kickass thing'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  9. ^ "Log In or Sign Up to View". Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  10. ^ Ortega, Lindi. "How Being on Stage Helped Me Cope With Body-Dysmorphic Disorder". Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  11. ^ Turnbull, Barbara (February 26, 2010). "Music for the birds". The Toronto Star. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  12. ^ "Lindi Ortega's Benefit Concert for the WPR". February 2, 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  13. ^ Wolanski, Coreen (April 2002). "Lindi The Taste of Forbidden Fruit". Exclaim!. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  14. ^ "Lindi – CBC Radio 3: Free music, videos, podcasts & concerts". CBC Radio 3. Archived from the original on March 1, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  15. ^ "YouTube – a Dove film – Girl's self-esteem". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021.
  16. ^ MacNeil, Jason (June 2, 2006). "Pickering musician returns to her music". Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  17. ^ "Lindi, "Fall From Grace *" – mymusic CD, Album details". Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  18. ^ "Lindi Ortega — New EP now available online!". Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  19. ^ Reinford, Kyle Dean (September 17, 2008). "Noah & the Whale & Lindi Ortega @ Union Pool, NYC – pics". Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  20. ^ "South by Southwest Music Festival". Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  21. ^ "Highlights From Lindi Ortega's Iowa Concerts". Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  22. ^ "Upcoming Events Kevin Costner and Modern West with Lindi Ortega". Ozanam Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  23. ^ "". Archived from the original on December 11, 2008. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  24. ^ "Past Shows". Lindi Ortega's Official Site. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  25. ^ "Good Things Come To Those Who Wait". Retrieved May 21, 2010.
  26. ^ First Play: Lindi Ortega, Liberty, retrieved May 15, 2018
  27. ^ "Lindi Ortega Album & Song Chart History – Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  28. ^ "Lindi Ortega Album & Song Chart History – Independent Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  29. ^ "Lindi Ortega Album & Song Chart History – Country Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  30. ^ "CD Reviews: Lindi Ortega: The Taste of Forbidden Fruit". Archived from the original on March 26, 2006. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  31. ^ "Lindi Ortega Details Concept Album Liberty". Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  32. ^ "Drifter (Single, EP)". Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  33. ^ "iTunes Session". New Canadian Music. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  34. ^ "Maybe This Christmas Tree". Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  35. ^ "Surreal Gourmet". Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  36. ^ "Year of the Monkey – 68". Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  37. ^ "Major Lazer – Lazers Never Die EP". Archived from the original on July 13, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2010.
  38. ^ "CMT : Videos : Lindi Ortega : Little Lie". Country Music Television. Retrieved August 28, 2011.
  39. ^ "CMT : Videos : Lindi Ortega : Black Fly". Country Music Television. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  40. ^ "CMT : Videos : Lindi Ortega : Christmas Eve With You". Country Music Television. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  41. ^ "CMT : Videos : Lindi Ortega : The Day You Die". Country Music Television. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  42. ^ "CMT : Videos : Lindi Ortega : Murder of Crows". Country Music Television. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  43. ^ "CMT : Videos : Lindi Ortega : Tin Star". Country Music Television. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  44. ^ "Lindi Ortega Shares Spaghetti Western-Infused 'Comeback Kid' Video From New Album 'Liberty'". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  45. ^ "Watch the video premiere for Lindi Ortega's 'Liberty'". The Independent. May 4, 2018. Archived from the original on June 14, 2022. Retrieved May 15, 2018.

External links[edit]