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The Elms


Interview with Owen Thomas of The Elms

Earlier this week, I had a phone conversation with Owen Thomas, the lead singer and primary songwriter for The Elms.  The Elms started in the year 2000 on Sparrow Records and have released four full-length, studio albums over the years as well as a couple EPs and downloadable tracks.  Their last album, The Great American Midrange, released in


The Great American Midrange (2009)

Much of America these days is, as it always has been, defined by the coasts.  The East Coast is the birthplace of America and the original states as well as the worldwide leaders in fashion and commerce. The west coast brought new avenues of trade, the gold rush, and now the worldwide leaders in technology and entertainment.

The Chess Hotel (2006)

Scan the back cover of The Elms' latest album and you'll see four anonymous heads of brown hair. Their animosity reflects the sweeping generalizations introduced through this album; The Chess Hotel is music for the every-day man working the blue-collar factory, the Midwestern woman keeping house, and the simple Southern couple just learning what it means to be in love. These characters serve as pieces to an intricate chessboard passed down from generation to generation.

Truth, Soul, Rock & Roll (2002)

Bringing together raw rock and thoughtful lyrics, The Elms return with new edge, new skills, and ... new suits! Okay, so it's a bit more than that, but you gotta love Owen's outfit. But, more importantly, The Elms have grown tremendously, and now they present us with some rock to make us dance and think.

The Big Surprise (2001)

Joy—where’d it go? Child-like faith has evolved into doctrinal systems. Relationships (think cliques and divorces) have become cruel. And give-it-everything melodies set to jangly guitars are pigeonholed as “oldies rock.” A million debates, disappointments, and drab albums later, audacious rockers The Elms prod listeners into a carefree reality.

The Elms EP (2000)

Unassuming and ungaudy, the first band of the year to be added to Sparrow Records’ roster, The Elms, give modern music fans a savory taste of their upcoming full-length project in this impenetrable self-titled EP. “Goodnight Rosa” thrusts listeners into the Elm’s polemic observations on “love ~ and all the crazy things it’ll make a person do.” With a one-two punch of tight, strong vocals and a pop-yet-rock chording, Owen Thomas (lead vocals, piano, guitar), Chris Thomas (drums, vocals), and James Thompson (guitar, vocals) show promise even with just the first cut.