The Canadian songwriter takes the quieter route on this new four track EP. She’s parked the feisty and swinging rockabilly sound she’s built much of her sound around and instead embraced a minimalist, meditative and reflective approach.
Opener ‘Til The Goin’ Gets Gone’ is tale of self-encouragement, a sweet, lilting resolute commitment to optimism over fatalism. It also highlights the power of Ortega’s voice, stripped of the full band framework. She possesses one of those voices imbued with ache and pain and 100% conviction.
‘What A Girl’s Gotta Do’ continues the late-night, back porch or empty honky tonk bar approach – the lonely singer in the spotlight serenading empty glasses with only whisky vapours remaining. That sparseness hits rock bottom (in the best way) with Ortega’s cover of Townes Van Zandt’s seminal ‘Waiting ‘Round To Die’. The female voice offers a different angle to the doomed tale, adding a mood of doomed romance.
Ortega closes out the EP with ‘Final Bow’, a song in which she muses on the possibility of only having one last song in her and the sacrifices and desire needed to carry on. It comes off as a career-crossroads moment, making the direction of her next album an intriguing prospect.