Neo-Soul’s Rising Star Erica Falls Releases Sublime New Single “Up”: [Listen]
New Orleans’ own homegrown queen of Neo Soul and vintage grooves, Erica Falls, continues to chart her own path with the release of her newest single “Up.” Issued on July 7, the tune is the first to drop from Falls’ upcoming album Emotions set for release in October.
Self-released, “Up” was produced by Falls’ longtime collaborator and “musical conduit” Nick Mercadel, who also co-wrote the song and plays drums on the track. Additionally the tune features Hall’s bandmates Donald Ramsey on bass, Max Bronstein on guitar, Jason Hodge on keys, and back-up vocalists Coty Hunter and Alayna Mayberry.
Built around Falls’ sublime vocals and an entrancing melody, “Up” takes its cues from vintage soul, a genre that Falls shapes into something uniquely her own. Steeped in the musical traditions of New Orleans, Falls’ silken voice sings about the thrill of new love. Her exceptional band supplies ample smooth grooves to buoy her celestial falsetto – an auditory delight. Listen to “Up” below.
Speaking about the motivating force behind “Up,” Falls said, “The inspiration for this song came to me initially during the pandemic lockdown while I was cooking dinner. In my solitude, it got me to thinking about how it feels when you fall in love or have a crush on someone and they feel the same. All of those butterflies in your tummy, the smile at the thought of them, and how those feelings make you feel like you’re floating. That’s when the melody came to mind, and I wrote the story from what I felt at that time, and I also tapped into how I felt when I was in that space.”
The release of “Up” and the highly-anticipated Emotions are the next chapters in a story she began to write years ago in her hometown of New Orleans, where she honed her vocal skills with such legends as Dr. John and Allen Toussaint. Over the course of two decades, she also made a name for herself backing up some of music’s biggest stars including Sting, Jennifer Hudson, Joe Sample, and No Doubt and released two full-length albums – 2011’s Me Myself and I and 2017’s superb Homegrown.
Fans might know her best as the guest singer for New Orleans’ guardians of funk Galactic, a band she toured with for nearly five years. Back in 2019 she decided to pursue a solo career in earnest, just before the Covid pandemic prompted lockdowns and nearly dashed that dream. A consummate survivor, Falls emerged stronger than ever and has once again ventured outside her comfort zone, deciding to take charge of releasing Emotions herself.
“Making the decision to release [“Up”] and the upcoming album Emotions independently was not an easy one, but I had to take the leap,” she said. “We’ve made some rookie mistakes, but we are learning as well. I’m grateful to have a great support system that’s in the trenches with me helping me to figure it all out.”
Fans can expect at least one more single to drop before the release of Emotions, which features contributions by George Porter, the legendary bassist for The Meters, and Grammy-nominated soul artist Jamison Ross. You can catch Falls on tour with her band Vintage Soul as well as at frequent gigs in and around New Orleans. To keep up with Erica Falls, including new releases and tour dates, click on the links below.