Terra Lightfoot’s self titled debut album for Sonic Unyon Records (Ringo Deathstarr, Frank Black) is an enigma. At one end it’s a rustic and acoustic indie folk affair with Lightfoot’s soaring and full bodied voice and guitar in the center of each composition. However Lightfoot’s guitar work is devised of calculated riffs and rhythms inspired by a youthful obsession with math rock bands like Don Caballero and lilting melodies and alt-country elements from her time serving in Canadian roots country outfit, The Dinner Belles (La Blogotheque). Intimate and echoed production from Dale Morningstar (who has produced for godspeed you black emperor! and Thrush Hermit) as well as full band accompaniment from members of Huron and A Northern Chorus (including organ, piano, cello and pedal steel) fills out the compositions.
Just turning twenty five, Lightfoot has been honing and cultivating her solo material since moving to Hamilton, Ontario to attend university at the age of eighteen. Speaking on her sound, Lightfoot says “I write a lot of love songs, and most of them come from a very honest place. I wrote these songs to deal with what was going on with me over the span of a year. My grandmother, who was an amazing piano player, died, people close to me lost relatives, and I ended a serious relationship.” Songs like “Sleep Away The Winter” tackle weighty subjects with Lightfoot pleading to a friend who has given up on the outside world and retreated to the confines of their basement apartment. Another track of a haunting nature is “Lucid Dreams” with Lightfoot relating “I was getting into lucid dreaming while going through a breakup, and some months later I dreamed that we had been together the whole time. I was trying to negotiate between what I was dreaming and what was actually happening and every morning I would wake up uncertain about everything. Lucid Dreams was about trying not to go back to that relationship in my waking life.”
Gathering her songs together, Lightfoot got a grant from the Ontario Arts Council to record and recruited Morningstar who recorded the album at Toronto Island. Now armed with a backing band, Lightfoot has been busy this year performing with such artists as Basia Bulat, Julie Doiron, Daniel Romano (Attack in Black) and Wax Mannequin. She will also perform at this year’s Supercrawl Festival in Hamilton with Broken Social Scene. Junior Boys and J Mascis and will be announcing her first North American tour for this fall shortly.