When Erica Falls is off from touring the country with Galactic, she is hard at work writing and recording music celebrating her native home of New Orleans. Homegrown, Erica Falls’ latest, is chock-full of catchy hooks, memorable melodies, and dynamic vocals that accentuate the R&B and soulful influences of this 10-track record. Falls employs the help of some of New Orleans’ finest: John ‘Papa’ Gros (keyboards, Hammond B3), Tony Hall (bass, guitars), Corey Henry (trombone), Terrence Higgins, and Alvin Ford Jr. (drums), and more.
Homegrown opens up with “Dance,” an upbeat and appropriately named track that inspires the listener to just dance through the challenges that arise in everyday life. Funky bass and guitar rhythms, combined with Falls’ powerful , soulful vocals and retro drum and keyboard sounds, create a groovy opener for Homegrown. The title track also bursts with energy and celebrates Falls’ bona fide connection to the Crescent City. Its catchy hook of stacked harmonies by background vocalists Tracci Lee, Raion Ramsey, and Kayla Jasmine elevates the track’s dynamics and infectiously stick with the listener. “Homegrown” is a nice juxtaposition of some of the more laid back tracks on the album, like the soulful and sentimental feeling of “Old Records” or the sultry and acoustic delicacy of “Lovin’ the Feelin’’.
Another notable moment during Homegrown is Falls’ dreamy and laid back cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”. The beginning half of the track utilizes synthetic drum sounds and synthesizers, but at the beginning of the second verse, a real drum kit replaces the synthetic drums, while a piano joins an organ and guitar for the remainder of the track. This balance of digital and analog instruments demonstrates Falls’ versatile skill, capturing her live sound as well as creating atmosphere through different sounds in the studio while bringing something new to a well-known, widely relatable song.
Overall, Erica Falls’ Homegrown is a dynamic record that alternates between high energy and infectious grooves, while showcasing Falls’ soulful and powerful voice in a way that demonstrates her versatility and skill.