It’s happy days for soulful rocker Terra Lightfoot as she has recently released her new album Consider The Speed which is a superb follow up to New Mistakes. One of the highlights from it is the new single Love You So. Recorded in Memphis, Tennessee at legendary Royal Studios, the single sees Lightfoot supported by drummer Steve Potts, bassist Davey Smith, and keyboardist Lester Snell — and was produced by Jay Newland and engineered by Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell. Terra drops by Hi Fi Way for a quick interview about the album.
How has the build-up been to the album?
I’ll tell you what: It has been interesting to be (mostly) at home for the entire lead up to this record. I did a few drive-in shows and some other live streams in the summer, but it’s been really nice to be able to be so involved in the roll-out. It made me feel prepared!
With the complexities of this year is there a feeling of relief knowing that’s done and ready to be put out into the world?|Definitely. I actually had a few tears after the release show. Of course it was a happy cry, a sad cry, a cry for everything going on in the world….. we put everything we had into that one performance, not knowing when we’d be playing this music outside of our own city again. It was tough but beautiful at the same time.
How would you compare this album to New Mistakes?
It’s SO different. I’m still writing and singing all the songs, but for me, Consider the Speed is a Memphis record at its core. I absorbed as much of that place, the band, the people as I could and I tried to stick with those feelings as we mixed and added extra guitars. I didn’t want to lose the feeling of me shaking hands with those guys and recording most of the music in only four days.
Did three years between albums feel like it flew by?
Absolutely! I mean, being on the road makes time pass so quickly. On the New Mistakes tour, we visited Australia twice and Japan and a bunch of other places we’d never been in Europe and the USA, so I was completely absorbed in those new experiences. Once I was home to write for Consider the Speed, I almost felt like I didn’t belong there anymore .
Do you think recording in Memphis influenced the album?
For sure. It was so hot there when we made the record. I remember sitting out on the red porch swing every night when we’d finish at the studio, just lapping up that heat. I feel like every day I walked into Royal trying to live up to the music that had been made there before and to trying to live up to my own expectations of what I wanted to do. I also think that the vibe of Steve and Lester and Davy really came through. They’re top-shelf session players in Memphis, and it was basically like I got to join their band for a few days. They’ve all been playing together for years with different projects and sessions, so they were like a well-oiled groove machine. I loved it!
What sorts of music influenced your writing for this album?
This could sound weird… but since I really overthought the writing for this album, I barely listened to any music at all during the process. I didn’t want to be influenced by anything. I don’t know why I did that, and I think in retrospect it was a really wild move, it probably stalled me in some ways. Because I was never taking a break from writing, I never took the pressure off of myself to create something new. I did, however, record two covers that are yet to be released, but those are old favourites of mine that really speak about where I was coming from. You’ll hear about those soon!
What is the story behind the single Love You So?
It’s a song about falling in love in a third-floor apartment in Hamilton. It’s a very simple love song at its core, talking about two rough and tumble songwriters falling in love, I guess. I wrote it on piano in my rehearsal space which is in a dingy little basement. Daniel Lanois, who is a fellow Hamiltonian, has a song called I Love You. I remember hearing that for the first time and being like, “Damn… he’s just getting right to the point”. I wanted to do the same thing.
Do you usually write the lyrics first?
It depends on what comes first. Usually I’ll get lyrics and melody at once, with one line to anchor the rest of the song and then go on from there. If the initial line isn’t any good, I generally won’t chase it very far.
Do you prefer to collaborate or write by yourself?
I love doing both! To date I’ve never recorded a co-write on one of my records, but I’ll never rule that out. I do love writing for other people and I’ve also started producing records for other artists. I had no idea that what I love to do the most in the studio is actually classified as producing!
Are you excited about the prospect of touring?
I just bought a van, so I’m ready for action.
What’s the next challenge for Terra Lightfoot?
For now, it’s being able to keep in touch with people around the world who have supported my music even when we can’t be in the same room. I want to make those beautiful and meaningful connections even if we aren’t touring. I know that’s a tough ask, but I’m gonna do my best.
Interview By Rob Lyon