Terra Lightfoot's latest LP, New Mistakes, beautifully builds on the groundwork the Hamilton troubadour laid with 2015's Every Time My Mind Runs Wild. That preceding album saw Lightfoot break through as a songstress who could wield an electric guitar and nail vulnerable vocals with equal aplomb.
On New Mistakes, she goes bigger and better. It's more accessible than its predecessor, boasting succinct choruses on tracks like "Ruthless," "Paradise" and "Pinball King" that are perfectly suited for stadium-sized crowds to sing along to. Better still: Lightfoot reaches for that mass appeal gracefully, without sacrificing the nuance or creativity that were hallmarks of her prior albums.
"Drifter," for instance, features steely staccato guitar notes on the bridge that sound thrillingly unique. "Hold You" is even better in that regard though, hitting a climax of gospel and blues thanks to its gritty instrumentation mixed with rousing, church choir0style backup singers as Lightfoot sings randy come-ons in the chorus.
Other songs feature simpler pleasures that satisfy all the same. "Stars Over Dakota" is swaggering, with punchy percussion and brash vocals that'll make you want to hop in a car, crank the volume and floor the accelerator. And if the equally high-octane "Slick Back Kid" doesn't get your blood pumping, then you'd better check your pulse. That said, the lower-key numbers are equally engrossing; "You Get High," and "Norma Gale" both boast spare instrumentation and moving, soulful singing. It all amounts to an album that will unite and thrill fans of classic rock, Americana, alt-folk and, above all, gorgeously crafted, accessible songwriting. (Sonic Unyon)