Plainspoken Christian testimony and engaging folk-pop sounds make Ellie Holcomb’s debut album, As Sure as the Sun, a standout release. Known for her years of touring and recording with Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, this gifted singer/songwriter has earned kudos for her two solo EPs. Her first proper long-player is a work of understated but substantial charm, recalling Sara Groves’ homespun wisdom and Leslie (a.k.a. Sam) Phillips’ blend of intensity and innocence. Holcomb brings a confident sense of craft to the project. Whether she’s riding a buoyant, string-draped arrangement (“The Broken Beautiful”), wrapping herself in jangly guitar tones (“Love Broke Through”), or easing into a pedal steel-accented country ballad (“I Want to Be Free”), her feel for melodies and hooks is sure. As a singer, she projects both humility and strength as she delivers lyrics that reflect the real-life moments of loneliness and fear that afflict every believer. Tracks like “Night Song” and “The Valley” contrast moments of spiritual darkness with the light of salvation in simple yet poetic language. Holcomb doesn’t need overstatement to touch the heart.