"With her thoughtful, rustic, indie folk material, Terra Lightfoot, no relation to Gordon, makes an earthy debut. The Hamilton singer-songwriter’s voice is rich, malleable and melancholic; her material is grey-coloured, a shade of November."
- The Globe and Mail
"Currently, it seems like there are only two types of Canadian singer-songwriters: those who strive to sound like Jeff Buckley and those who strive to sound like Leslie Feist. Terra Lightfoot has crafted a third, more interesting option: none of the above."
- Exclaim! Magazine
Terra Lightfoot signed on with Sonic Unyon Recording Company to release her debut LP on vinyl and CD in 2011. Both formats were released formally with opening act Paley and Francis (featuring Frank Black of the Pixies). She recently returned from her first foray overseas which saw her showcasing at MIDEM in France and opening shows in the UK for Whitehorse and The Megaphonic Thrift.
Lightfoot plays a complicated brand of folk-roots-rock. Her voice is hauntingly beautiful, following melodies that soar over incendiary chords. With roots in math rock and an addiction to blues pioneers like Robert Johnson and Leadbelly, her music fuses calculated riffs and rhythms with graceful melodies and a voice that leaves you breathless. She is a true songwriter who pens honest and vulnerable lyrics. She has a dynamic live show which can include a backing band with pedal steel and organ, electronic loops or a stripped down set with an acoustic guitar.
With a creation grant from the Ontario Arts Council in 2008 ($4000), Lightfoot began making her debut record on Toronto Island with acclaimed engineer Dale Morningstar in spring 2009. The album includes the boys from Huron on pedal steel, piano, organ, and bass along with Peter Hall from a Northern Chorus co-producing, playing drums, and singing. Alex McMaster from A Northern Chorus also guested on the record, playing cello.
Lightfoot has recently begun playing lead guitar in Toronto alt-country outfit, The Pining. Lightfoot is also a part of a country band called "The Dinner Belles", who have garnered attention at CMJ in New York City, and online through a La Blogotheque video series, seen here: http://www.blogotheque.net/Dinner-Belles,5608
Currently playing with talented artists such as Great Lake Swimmers, White Horse, Julie Doiron and the Sadies, and having shared the stage with Sloan, Basia Bulat and Frank Black - Lightfoot feels quite accomplished. 2013 will see Lightfoot play some festivals and release her second album in the fall.
Pete Hall - Guitar, Lap Steel
David Dunham - Drums
Cam Malcolm - Bass Guitar
Adam Melnick - keyboards
LP: Terra Lightfoot - s/t (on vinyl and CD)
Single - Orissa - Released on Compilation "Everybody Dance Now: Songs from Hamilton IV" by CFMU 93.3 and C101.5
Single - Creases - Released on Compilation CD "Everybody Dance Now: Songs from Hamilton 3" by CFMU 93.3 and C101.5
The Orchard (Single), Creases (Single), radio airplay on AM900CHML, C 101.5FM, CFMU 93.3FM
Disc of the Week: Rebooting Canada's Folk Songbook
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* Terra Lightfoot * Sonic Unyon * 3 stars With her thoughtful,... *
With her thoughtful, rustic, indie folk material, Terra Lightfoot, no relation to Gordon, makes an earthy debut. The Hamilton singer-songwriter’s voice is rich, malleable and melancholic; her material is grey-coloured, a shade of November. Sleep Away the Winter, a swelling waltz about social hibernation, is the album’s biggest track. Head, Tails, Tails is sparser and sweeter. The rest of the material is fit for sweaters and cellos, providing those in a mood some measure of comfort. Brad Wheeler
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Currently, it seems like there are only two types of Canadian singer-songwriters: those who strive t...Currently, it seems like there are only two types of Canadian singer-songwriters: those who strive to sound like Jeff Buckley and those who strive to sound like Leslie Feist. Terra Lightfoot has crafted a third, more interesting option: none of the above. Despite the fact that the Hamilton, ON lassie sings and writes songs, her self-titled debut follows little of the cues laid out by the guitar-touting troubadours she calls her peers. The electric, banjo and slide guitar droner "Straight Line" sets the mood, as Lightfoot matches it with a husky vocal delivery. But on the following track, "The Orchard," Terra suddenly seems uninterested in sounding anything like the former descriptors, coming off breezy and '90s indie rock-esque. "Sleep Away the Winter" shows off her accomplished honky-tonkin', while "Foxes" is all modern singer-songwriter post-punk. It's not just the surface differences that make Terra Lightfoot such an engrossed listen, but at least such surfaces make it easy to get close enough to read Lightfoot's mind.
Reviews: Terra Lightfoot
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On the surface, Terra Lightfoot sings folk songs that are heavy on emotion and peaceful melodies. If...On the surface, Terra Lightfoot sings folk songs that are heavy on emotion and peaceful melodies. If you heard her voice carried only by an acoustic you wouldn’t blink an eye, but what makes her debut LP stand out is the surprisingly algorithmic electric guitar work that replaces any standard, delicate picking.
The talent Terra exudes isn’t surprising – she was picked to support Julie Fader, one of Canada’s most versatile and precise musicians (and the proud author of one of the most adorable baby tumblrs) and is backed by members of City and Colour and Huron on this record – but the end results certainly are. Swells of strings, plucked bass and cymbal crashes refuse to let the songs stagnate for even a moment and her use of tempo change and cinematic climaxes takes almost every song in interesting and unexpected directions.
The opening number, “Straight Line”, starts with just Terra’s husky voice and some electric, but quickly and constantly morphs. She softens the affair when a banjo is added to hint at a more standard folk color palette, but just as quickly adds heavy plucked bass, drum crashes and harmonies. “Sleep Away the Winter” avoids the apathy and retreat often associated with the season and instead Lightfoot sings over surges and intensity. “Lucid Dreams” feels breezy with nice harmonies but the riff is more adventurous and rhythmic before exploding into a straight up, 90's indie rock anthem.
Even when Terra moves along more traditional paths or experiments with more common elements, the heat you feel is a slow burning heat that leaps out of the speakers, not the comfort of a wooly sweater. I’ll be honest; in a time where records are released and forgotten even with a steady chorus of people yelling support, this understated surprise is one that music lovers can praise with pride. Lightfoot challenges us to keep listening and rewards us with the important reassurance that folk music doesn’t have to resign itself to coffee shops and late night dorm room come downs.
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It looks like 2010 will be a busy year for rootsy singer-songwriter, Terra Lightfoot. A constant f...
It looks like 2010 will be a busy year for rootsy singer-songwriter, Terra Lightfoot. A constant fixture of the local music and arts community – her February looks like this: an opening slot for Basia Bulat, a supporting role in The Dinner Belles’ old fashioned country debauchery on Valentine’s Day, occasional guitar teaching gigs in people’s homes and a special guest of H Magazine’s new Meet Your City event on the 25th – where she will be providing the musical portion of a discussion focusing on the Creative Catalyst, a new civic arts project. Lightfoot’s vocals can also be heard in a new project conceived by former Chore drummer, Dave Dunham. Called DAVIDS – you can hear the song entitled Conduits along with others at www.myspace.com/davids0401
She ensures us that her much anticipated debut album is close to being done and will be released this year. One more reason to keep following the young and promising path of Terra Lightfoot.
By Dave Kuruc
It's Terra's time to go solo
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September 8, 2011 Terra Lightfoot’s music steps gently along a path that touches on old-time coun...September 8, 2011
Terra Lightfoot’s music steps gently along a path that touches on old-time country, starry-eyed folk ballads and arty ambient rock. Her lyrics visit the exotic beaches of eastern India and the upper reaches of Stoney Creek.
It’s a subtle and strangely alluring mixture held together by Lightfoot’s lilting voice. You can hear it on her self-titled solo album, which will be released Friday on Hamilton’s Sonic Unyon Records label at a CD release party at This Ain’t Hollywood.
LISTEN: Lightfoot's 'Creases'
Lightfoot, a 25-year-old native of Waterdown, has been turning heads ever since she started playing her songs a few years ago at open microphone nights at the now-defunct Pepper Jack Café on King William St.
People like Pete Hall, a founding member of the respected indie groups A Northern Chorus and Huron, encouraged her to keep writing and performing. Hall and Lightfoot began jamming together in his house.
Other local musicians like Cam Malcolm (also of Huron) began collaborating with Lightfoot. Last month, the two released an album called Secret Heights.
Brad Germain (Marble Index) and Brandon Bliss (St. Alvia) brought her into an alt-country band they formed called The Dinner Belles. That group’s first CD was also released in August.
In Toronto, Lightfoot was also asked to play guitar for Julie Fader’s touring band, the Julie Fader Experience. She was a regular at the Dakota in Toronto, This Ain’t Hollywood and The Casbah. At some festivals, she could be seen playing in three different acts.
“Within six weeks, I turned 25 (her birthday was also in August), and released three CDs,” laughs Lightfoot during a visit to The Spectator, where she recorded a video of two songs for thespec.com website.
Everyone seems to want to play with her and it’s easy to see why.
Her songs are filled with intriguing twists of lyric imagery that find romance and wonder in the mundane of everyday life.
In the new album’s closing song Creases, Lightfoot transforms a walk through Bayfront Park with her dog into “a green and gold adventure where the water touches leaves.” Her backing band, (Hall, Malcolm and fellow Huron members Aaron Goldstein and Adam Melnick), turns that romp in the park into a swirling Beatlesque crescendo.
The song Orissa is about a Christmas Eve walk on an Indian Ocean beach while waiting for a train and missing home. Lightfoot worked in Orissa on a CIDA grant for three months while completing her undergraduate thesis in peace studies at McMaster University.
“It is totally a love song,” Lightfoot says, without explaining if it is love for a place or a certain person.
Perhaps the most intriguing track on the CD is an acoustic solo number called Heads, Tails, Tails. It’s a charming little love song that Lightfoot says arose from an I Ching consultation and a trip under darkness in search of the giant cross that presides over Hamilton’s east mountain.
“I had no idea where it was,” says Lightfoot of the cross. “I just had the idea of going out and finding it. I don’t go to the east a lot, but I knew it was up there and I had to go find it. We got lost around Kenilworth but, eventually, we found it.”
If you miss Lightfoot’s CD release party, you can see her Saturday at Supercrawl at two different times, performing solo in the afternoon on the Warchild busking stage at 1:40 p.m. or with the band Dinner Belles at 6:30 p.m.
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A sleeping wolf, a feisty wolf – what album art could better depict the nature of Terra Lightfoot’s ...A sleeping wolf, a feisty wolf – what album art could better depict the nature of Terra Lightfoot’s eponymous debut? Released this September on Hamilton based indie label Sonic Unyon, Lightfoot proffers an album that creeps from cool mellow alt-country tracks and minimalist folk ballads to brazen country and rock. With an unexpected nimbleness, Lightfoot hooks the listener changing the pace and direction of her songs, most notably on “Lucid Dreams” – a song about revisiting a past relationship through sleep that begins with cello and guitar and culminates in an intensely emotional rock jam. Known for her work in the roots-country group The Dinner Belles, Lightfoot’s subtle math-rock influence is a nice touch, making these songs distinct from most of the other indie-folk femmes bopping around today. Dale Morningstar (Gordon Downie, Godspeed You! Black Emperor) produces the 25 year-old’s lush first album. Sorrowful generally, with a bit of whimsy – this old sleepy wolf, this little playful one – sounds like a cross between The Cowboy Junkies and Julie Doiron (with a pinch of Don Caballero). If you missed Terra at the Lo Pub last week, make sure you don’t repeat the mistake next time she passes through town. (Sonic Unyon, sonicunyon.com) Cole Snyder
There are no upcoming dates at this time.