Christian Artists To Know: The Elms


The Elms
Genre: Rock
Styles: Rock n’ Roll, British Invasion, Garage Rock
Location: Seymour, Indiana
Label: Unknown Indie
Christian label: no
Category: The Light whats this?

Buy an album from The Elms, I don’t care which one.  Put it on the turntable, or in your CD player or hook your computer/iPod up to something loud.  Turn the volume up, the lights down, let it rip and get ready to dance.  The Elms make good old American Rock n’ Roll with two capital R’s.

The Elms’ sound is simple and straight forward.  Pounding drums, thumping base, screaming guitars and lyrics shouted to blend with the noise.  Good stuff, because we all want to dance every now and then.  But the lyrics bring weight and substance to this party music.  The Elms want you to think they are all about the good times, but the lyrics pull you back.  The newer songs are filled with sorrow of lives lost pursuing the mundane and the joys of simple pleasures.  The older songs show you and cajole you to pursue a path filled with God’s desires.  Keep dancing and you will keep listening.  If you keep listening the messages will get through.

The Elms list Crazy Horse and the Kinks as influences, but most compare them to the great rockers of middle and rural America.  When asked if the Elms are attempting to walk in the shoes of Mellencamp, Petty and Sprinsteen, The Elms lead singer Owen Thomas said, “I don’t think I’m consciously attempting to step in anybody’s shoes. I’m writing about my friends. I’m writing about my little town, what it meant to grow up there, how everybody always wanted to get out. And I’m writing about how most of them don’t get out.”

Like so many Christian music artists, The Elms left the Christian music industry to try to spread their Rock n’ Roll message in the secular scene.  That has given them the freedom to discuss the despair and loss in the world.  According to Owens; “We never wanted to be a band that existed exclusively to rock. The artists that we aspire to be like-Bruce Springsteen, The Who, U2, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp-these are all acts with a heartbeat, if you know what I mean. They weren’t out there just to rock; they also existed to enlighten people to a cause or enlighten people to the living circumstances of people around them. It was more of a global conscience happening, and music was just a vehicle. I really feel that’s what our band aspires to.”

The Elms needed to leave the Christian music industry to reach for their aspiration.  Too many times the Christian music scene interprets that move as abandoning the Faith.  That is simply not the case with The Elms.  As Owen recently said “The most pervasive and important part of our lives is still our faith. The reason our band wants to get in front of rock audiences is so those things can happen, and we can actually feel like we’re being truthful in the work by being out there and getting the spiritual wheels turning in people’s minds and hearts. I don’t want to say that the reason our band goes out and plays shows is to evangelize. That’d probably be a little misleading, because we also exist to go out there and tell people about the plight of little towns in Middle America.”

I do not want to turn The Elms into an angst ridden emo act.  They are fun.  I saw The Elms when we took our youth group to a Christian rock tour featuring The Benjamin Gate, Audio Adrenaline and The O.C. Supertones.  They were playing the heavily British influenced rock of their first CD and they tore the place down.  You must see this band play live, just to see Christopher Thomas play drums.  You get a taste in this video.

Buy some music from The Elms and dance your way to freedom.

You can buy The Elms at iTunes The Elms

You can buy The Elms mp3′s and CDs at Amazon

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  1. Brian says:

    Imagine that, the Christian community not liking it when an artist tries to leave the cozy confines of their Christians Only bubble. I say good for The Elms.


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