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Inspired by a song and the images it evoked for singer-songwriter, Ben Thomas, So Elated was created in early 2008. Joined by fellow musicians in the Chicago area, So Elated began production of their debut, self-titled album in August of ‘08.

“So Elated” will be released nationally on January 13, 2009 and is expected to invite listeners into an honest conversation that hits a pinnacle of the craft and energy Thomas’ music is known for. A storyteller at heart, Thomas’ lyrics are challenging and engaging without feeling forced or contrived, complementing a music vibe that is both simple and complex.

Jeremy Gudauskas, founder and manager of acclaimed Chicago-area college venue, “The Union”, writes: “Ben Thomas has been grinding out some of the best independent folk-rock in Chicagoland for the past decade, and is primed and ready for national exposure with his latest collection of work. Crafting songs with creative instrumentation and intelligent lyrics, Thomas delivers a passionate, soul-stirring live performance that taps the mystery and wonder of the human experience. Images of dark and light, hope and despair, faith and doubt are all wrapped up in a sonic package that is simultaneously raw and polished. Thomas is a lover of music and a student of some of the best alt-indie-folk-rock both above and below the radar, influences he blends seamlessly into his own unique style of recording and performing.”

What Others Say:

“The Recovery” Review (4 stars) - Phantom Tollbooth, 2004
The initiative to get your art out to the public i…
The initiative to get your art out to the public is extremely important in this day of the oversaturated music market. While anyone out there can make a record in their bedroom, not everyone can create a buzz around their personal creation. One successor in this music hill climb is Illnois’ Ben Thomas. Thomas was recently named as one of the top up and coming independent artist by _Christianity Today_, and that honor is well deserved. _The Recovery_ is a musical treasure chest for the fan of alt-country/folk rock fan. At moments, Thomas sounds can remind you of amped-up Bright Eyes or Rocky Votolato without the gloomy perspective on life. When you combine that with the sounds of Wilco, Radiohead, and Derek Webb, you’ve got the makings of a great album. Personal lyrics alongside haunting melodies are what Thomas does best. The “do it yourself” nature of this album sometimes rears its head, but the rawness of the project also adds to the passion in Thomas’ songwriting. Thomas shows he can have some fun with his songwriting on “Loosen Your Grip” and “Doves” but can keep it serious, as seen in “Shackled By Light” and “I Keep Driving (The Machine).” Showing lots of promise for a 26 year-old, Thomas’ first full-length is an independent success setting the stage for a bright future.

Independent Artists to Watch - Christianity Today, 2005
A youth ministry coordinator from Naperville, Illi…
A youth ministry coordinator from Naperville, Illinois, 26-year-old Ben Thomas has been writing and performing in Chicagoland’s coffeehouses and clubs as an independent since the mid-’90s. But The Recovery marks his first full-length studio effort, and it’s a good one. Self-written, produced, and mostly performed by Thomas, it’s an album filled with dichotomies. The sound is melodic and approachable, yet the instrumentation is often quite progressive, mixing acoustic guitars with atmospheric effects and aggressive drum fills. The song style is structured, but the production is sometimes unconventional—there’s an intense indie rawness reminiscent of Damien Rice’s O album that can sound a tad muddy in some speakers, but it can also sound terrific in the right system. And it all plays off themes that candidly express sadness and brokenness while ultimately finding hope and peace in the Lord. Thomas appropriately cites alt-folk/pop influences like Wilco, Over the Rhine, Bob Dylan, and Pedro the Lion; you’ll likely dig this if you’ve enjoyed recent albums by Derek Webb and Taylor Sorensen. This solo debut lends credence to that belief that indie artists are the last bastion for creative songwriting.

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