Ben Thomas, an indie-folk artist based in Southern California, will release 'The Wilderness Voice: EP 1' on November 24th. The 4 song EP is based on readings for the liturgical season of Advent.
"10 years ago I released an Advent/Christmas-themed record called The Bewildering Light. The entire album was written, recorded, mixed and released in less than a month. At the time, it was intended to be a quick little recording for my friends and family to enjoy. It went on to sell more copies than all of my other records combined, and became the only album of mine to officially “sell out” of physical copies. All of this, teaching me in no subtle way that God most certainly dwells in the least expected places", explains Ben.
"10 years later I still find myself mysteriously drawn to the stories surrounding the birth of Jesus. These are stories that speak to our humanity and the common desire we all share for hope and redemption. Stories about waiting with hope for rescue from oppression. Stories about the reversal of power - where those on society’s fringes are awakened to the Divine within them and among them, empowering them to live out a radical and subversive kind of love. These are stories set with a backdrop of political tension, racism, and hatred that seem difficult not to draw comparison to our present day cultural climate.
Regardless of what you believe about who Jesus was and what Christians say about Him, the whole thing is a crazy, messy and beautiful story. And crazy, messy, beautiful stories need soundtracks. That's my goal with The Wilderness Voice.
The songs themselves will be inspired by readings from the Revised Common Lectionary, which covers a broad and diverse range of Old and New Testament passages for the season. Advent is four weeks long and each song will speak to the readings from each week. Since the lectionary cycle takes place over the course of three years, I plan on writing and releasing songs to go with each week over the next three years as three separate EPs.
My hope is that these songs provide a soundtrack for your Advent and a way for you to allow the stories surrounding Jesus’ birth to draw you mysteriously inward this season… awakening you to a love that breaks down walls, heals the broken, includes the outcast and transforms our pain."