“Keep on goin’ little darlin’, til the goin’ gets gone,” sings Lindi Ortega on the title track of her new EP, sometimes sounding more hesitant than hopeful with each note. On these three new songs — and one Townes Van Zandt cover — the Toronto-born, previously Nashville-based country singer lets us in on the struggle she’s been having: whether or not to keep making music.
“I was at this moment where my time was up at my label, and I didn't want to have a record deal anymore,” she recently told Rolling Stone Country. “I left it all behind and thought I was done for. But I decided that I would keep going and continue to make music, and I wrote a couple songs that fell in line with that idea: to keep going, juxtaposing the road of life with the actual road, and how you can't really get off unless you actually get off.”
Til the Goin’ Gets Gone is Ortega’s first new music since her 2015 album, Faded Gloryville, and its release comes after her departure from Nashville, where she lived for five years. “What a Girl’s Gotta Do,” “Final Bow” and the title track make up the original song trio on the album, as the singer steps away from her often boot-stomping country noir for stripped-down laments that fit more snugly into a twangier country mould. “Waitin’ ‘Round to Die,” her drifter Van Zandt cover, is beautiful, but no less heartbreaking than its album companions.
“I’ll sing one last song, for old time’s sake, before I take my final bow,” Ortega sings on her closing track, a mournful, almost vaudevillian number. And with its last notes, we hope they aren’t literally her last.