In just five songs, Austin-based singer Cari Hutson’s upcoming EP covers a lot of sonic territory. And while her lyrics remain simple in nature, each track on aptly-named Salvation and Soul Restoration features stinging lines that aren’t easily forgotten—a testament to her talent in expressing personal loss and collective frustration.
In “Stand Up,” for example, Hutson urges her listeners to seek wholeness, while other tracks, such as “Blame,” take jabs at dishonest politicians. “The Rescue,” which was inspired by the recent loss of her mother, sends a reassuring message that asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
It’s not just Hutson’s passionate storytelling, however, that keeps the spiritual current of the EP alive—the songwriter and her band seamlessly transition from mellow ballads through an array of rock, funk, and soul, each style brimming with fresh sound. “Stand Up” opens with a funky keyboard riff that gives way to a hard-hitting guitar-driven chorus. “Blame”— arguably the catchiest track on the release—uses its infectious bass line to lure listeners in as Hutson hypnotically chants blame, blame, blame.
While the genre of Salvation and Soul Restoration is difficult to pin down, consistent instrumentation gives it a sense of continuity. Dual guitars and organ dance together while a tight rhythm section keeps the momentum moving forward. And Hutson’s voice? The icing on the cake. On “Take the Day,” for example, her subtle vocals throughout the first three minutes remain smooth and delicate, but by the end of the track her powerhouse voice has surprisingly taken over.
Salvation and Soul Restoration beautifully represents Hutson’s Austin roots. Anchored by a spiritual message of love, it offers a soulful punch of blues-rock that’s remarkably cohesive for being comprised of just five tracks.
Salvation and Soul Restoration’s will be released Feb. 12. To celebrate, Huston will be doing a free livestream from the Saxon Pub at 9 p.m that day. To watch, visit their Facebook page.