Void of attempts to fill the space with clever, radio-focused twists and beats, Katie Gustafson has a throwback melodic style that harkens to the simple lines of early Twila Paris and current Kathryn Scott. And it’s this straightforward feel that soothingly wraps around you on her charming debut, Introducing Katie Gustafson. To forge the path to this singular style, Gustafson and veteran producer John Hartley took a gentle-handed yet elegant approach to the songs, weaving a soothing ambiance and jangling quality with bright guitars and piano lines. Though one production misstep shows up in the slightly distracting distortion supporting the chorus of the song “Wonderful to Me.”
Certainly being the daughter of renowned songwriter and teacher Gerrit Gustafson is a benefit for a budding worship artist, but the context and content is particularly Katie’s—she has offered a set of songs that are biblical and poetic, rich with a theological understanding as well as clear connections to the Psalms and classic hymns.
More: Gustafson’s strength is in the lullaby quality of the soothing heart-songs that move your soul into devotional moments. A solid introduction to be sure.
Less: On the flip side, there is a slight lack of melodic hook on this debut.