Recommended Tracks: “First Love”, “A Walk Around The Sun”, “Unsatisfied”
Artists You May Like: Gillian Welch, Melissa Carper, Lilly Hiatt
An active member of The Magnolia Beacon and Tuba Skinny, Erika Lewis has gifted the streets of New Orleans with colorful jazz music for the better part of 15 years. During her time in Tuba Skinny, Erika was inspired to write and perform more of her own songs outside of the group, establishing herself as a strong creative force in folk and Americana music. A couple of years ago, Erika had to undergo surgery that could have ended her career as a singer, as it risked damage to her vocal nerves. In case the surgery did prevent her from ever singing again, she was encouraged to release a new project with all original material. Fortunately, the surgery was successful in many ways – Erika can still perform, and fans are treated to her new album, A Walk Around The Sun.
With A Walk Around The Sun, Erika paints vivid pictures of love and its magical powers. On opening track “A Thousand Miles,” Erika shares the wonders of new love. Over gentle fiddle and guitar, Erika sings, “Take my hand and we’ll walk for a thousand miles, my love” and “We’ll share the light and all the beauty it brings,” suggesting that anything is possible when she is with this person. This “love conquers all” feeling comes through again on “Wild Thing,” where Erika sings, “Around his waist / My arms hold tight / Mountain roads and starry skies,” enjoying her time with this “wild thing” she has unexpectedly fallen for. Still, nothing compares to the feeling of first love, as we hear on the appropriately titled “First Love.” As Erika recalls the delight of finding this love, but also the sad way her love was not reciprocated, the strings and guitar provide some comfort, and we entertain the idea that things will be alright.
While there are plenty of fond memories throughout the album, there are also moments of loss. On “Loser,” Erika explores the broken promises that occur in relationships. Adopting a sassy attitude, she sings, “You said I’d never lose you / You said that it would never be this hard,” showcasing the fatal effects of the word “never.” More disappointment comes through on the title track, as Erika places the blame of a relationship gone wrong on someone else. We feel the weight of the chords throughout the track, each downbeat emphasizing the pain. The sting of such disappointment is less severe on “Love Song,” though, as the accompaniment brings a bit of light to the “slowly fading” one that Erika so describes.
Additionally, Erika gets into the topics of longing and desire, exposing the way that they go hand-in-hand with love and loss. Applying longing to that of her childhood, Erika illustrates the innocence and happiness she felt amongst the “dusty flowers where the cattle graze” on “Running Wild,” wishing she could return to that time. The concept of desire, however, is present on “If You Were Mine” and “Unsatisfied,” where Erika looks for something more from those she loves. On “If You Were Mine,” she describes how she “would never waste your time” and would “be here, baby, when you come to call” if she ever ended up with this person. This desire slightly changes on the rock-infused “Unsatisfied,” which explores the notion of maintaining a relationship while outside forces threaten its existence.
Basically, A Walk Around The Sun is an expansive offering, from its music to its lyrics. Confidently, Erika dabbles in so many genres, such as country and indie rock, using their diverse styles to better illustrate her lyrics. There are also the natural emotions of love, loss, happiness, grief, and desire that she purely embraces on each track, giving a full personality to the album. In the end, A Walk Around The Sun has something for everyone, sure to resonate with those who choose to embark on such a fiery stroll.
You can listen to A Walk Around The Sun on platforms like Apple Music, SoundCloud, and Spotify.