Terra Lightfoot – Every Time My Mind Runs Wild (Sonic Unyon)
There’s lots to love about Hamiltonian Terra Lightfoot’s second album: her songwriting has improved tenfold; she’s got a roaring rock band behind her; she’s steeped in the most durable elements of classic rock, country and Americana, and her music is exactly what you (okay, me, at least) want to hear when you hit the bar on Friday night.
But records like that are a dime a dozen. Lightfoot has something else going for her.
Everyone, it seems, loves a man who sings like a woman. And everyone loves a woman who dresses like one of the guys on stage. But what of the woman in a dress with a masculine—or, at the very least, androgynous—voice? It’s not just that Lightfoot has a lower range, it’s the timbre of her voice that sounds like no one else, male or female. She’s the Alison Moyet of Canadian roots rock. It’s what makes or breaks her appeal; it doesn’t leave anyone sitting on the fence, especially when she hangs onto notes at the climax of a chorus ("No Hurry"). Producer Gus Van Go (Whitehorse) pushes her to go big or go home; even the sparsely arranged ballads here (“NFB,” “Splinter”) don’t shy away from big, brassy moments—and she pulls it off every time.
That approach applies not just to her voice: this is Lightfoot putting all (or most) of her cards on the table. Opening with a rollicking electric waltz, she frontloads the album with rockers before branching out to tender folk songs or a 1950s 6/8 shuffle or two-step country. Every Time My Mind Runs Wild is brimming with confidence, a calling card for a young artist more than ready to make her mark.
Download: “All Alone,” “No Hurry,” “Emerald Eyes”