HA HA TONKA
A week into recording their fifth album Heart-Shaped Mountain, Ha Ha Tonka was forced to start over. A massive hardware crash at the studio deleted everything. Following a wave of shock, the band regrouped and refocused, trying different approaches to song structures that they otherwise wouldn’t have, and made a resilient album of positivity and triumphant effervescence. After all, music has the power to overcome.
At its core, Heart-Shaped Mountain is an album about love and growth. At a time when divisiveness fills the headlines, Ha Ha Tonka is fighting the good fight and building narrative tributes to friends and loved ones, memories past, and prospects of the future. They five-part harmonize on intimate familiarities – the nascent stages of relationships, deep and lasting bonds, maturation, fear and loss. This is a call to pause and glance back, inhale inspiration, and forge ahead with renewed purpose.
Trapper Schoepp has befriended a strange and diverse cast of characters during his 20+ years. That small army of rogues and romantics, drifters and dreamers, soldiers and schemers populate his songs. He got attention with his critically-acclaimed 2012 debut showcase, Run Engine, Run, alongside his band The Shades. The LP earned notices in Rolling Stone, American Songwriter and Paste, with the folks at Huffington Post calling him a “master storyteller” and PBS hailing his work as “story songs that explore and explode the conventions of rock and roll.” The Minnesota-born, Wisconsin-based tunesmith and teller of tales (both tall and true), returns with his second effort Rangers & Valentines.