Jonathan Hape
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Jonathan Hape

Columbus, Ohio, United States | SELF

Columbus, Ohio, United States | SELF
Band Pop Avant-garde

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Jul
26
Jonathan Hape @ Karma

Mansfield, Ohio, USA

Mansfield, Ohio, USA

Jun
28
Jonathan Hape @ The Well

South Bend, Indiana, USA

South Bend, Indiana, USA

Jun
07
Jonathan Hape @ Relax, It's Just Coffee

Mansfield, Ohio, USA

Mansfield, Ohio, USA

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Music

Press


The high-tech loops and myriad layers of Jonathan Hape’s one-man band began with low-rent origins.

As a middle-schooler in Mansfield, Ohio, “You would basically have a Sony boombox” with side-by-side decks, Hape said, “recording tape over tape.”

Digital tools, education and age have helped the 28-year-old songwriter sustain that do-it-all ethos — most recently with his fourth full-length album, Places, which offers dreamlike, echoing sounds in the mold of M83 or Peter Bjorn and John.

The workload isn’t daunting for the Olde Towne East resident.

“I’ve been writing songs with every single part in them for a long time,” said Hape, who will perform on Saturday in Rumba Cafe.

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Q: How did you become a musician?

A: My father plays guitar and always has. He played bass in a new-wave band. Now, he plays in a ’70s punk-style band. That’s kind of what I just thought people were supposed to do.

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Q: What does your music sound like?

A: Low-fi dream-pop; experimental indie-pop. It’s so open, it’s hard to categorize.

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Q: You’re also in a band. What factors drive the solo pursuit?

A: It’s very good for scheduling, very good for touring. It’s great for my creative process. I like to explore all the elements.

But in bands, you have other people challenging you. That’s important.

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Q: How did it feel at first to perform alone?

A: I got mega-stage fright. I had a show where I don’t even remember most of it. There are so many things that, technically, could go wrong. I’m running bass, drums, guitars through loops.

Recently, I’ve been able to get past that and be a showman again.

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Q: What do you tend to sing about?

A: I’ve always just written about what is going in my life, but through poetry. I don’t like being too literal.

On my last album, I went for a more They Might Be Giants thing — just wordplay .?.?. almost too obscure to be noticed.

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Q: Who motivates your work?

A: R.E.M. has always had an influence on my songwriting. Wilco and Radiohead, of course, because they’re people that really stretched themselves constantly in front of an audience and gained something by doing that. And Andrew Bird, obviously, because of the organic looping.

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Q: You’re out on the road performing five to 10 days a month. Why live in Columbus?

A: I thrive on limitations and lack of options. I would rather have a home base I’m comfortable with and then have the world to explore.

— Kevin Joy

kjoy@dispatch.com

@kevjoy - The Columbus Dispatch (kevin joy)


Jonathan Hape “PLACES”

(October 2012)

I became aware of Columbus’ Jonathan Hape at Goggles Optional IV when I saw that odd superimposed face pop up on the screen to advertise his show on March 9th. It held my interest for a few minutes, but not long enough for me to give it much thought. Then a few weeks ago he invited me out to review the show and advertised his music as “live looping, ambient sounds, and dark pop sounds.” That was enough to send me to his bandcamp site and explore a little more.

While many bands shy away from labels or have trouble categorizing themselves, Hape’s description summarizes his sound better than I could. Odd, semi-industrial noises mix with drum machine rhythms in the background to provide a foundation for the Bauhaus-esq guitar and ambient David Bowie type vocals. All of this mixes together to form a delightful experimental indie pop sound. While I don’t usually consider myself a fan of any type of music that could be described as “indie,” Hape has enough brooding darkness to bring out the Cure fan in me.

While it can get a little repetitious, the song “Height Hit Heads” features great middle eight back beats that keep the sound fresh. “Buttons” is a song that could have been written in the early sixties and comes to life with Hape’s electronic arrangement. “Beyond! Henceforth!” is an interestingly noisy video-game-rock style interlude that has me bouncing in my chair. My favorite track, “In Different Shapes,” starts out with the best bass line of the album that leads the song to a great prog rock melody.

Though his profile on bandcamp lists seven solo releases there is no sense that he’s rushed the output or hurried his songwriting to get product out. The songs are well crafted and seem to be more focused on quality than quantity. I would love to hear more from him but my internet connection is being really slow and I’m going to have to wait a few days to try and listen to his new album “Spinner.”

While I will probably always prefer a live band to an electronic one, I think Jonathan Hape is at the forefront of what can be done by one man and his computer.

Here’s a short email interview with Jonathan:

Almost Famous: Do you have a live backing band?

Jonathan Hape: I have another project called Room & Board which is totally different material. Check it out here: [roomandboard.bandcamp.com] or [facebook.com/roomandboardmusic]

I play strictly solo when I play my solo material, though I have had backing bands in the past and have been joined by a lot of talented friends.

AF: How do you perform?

JH: I generally use live loops of drums, guitar, octave bass, and vocals. Some shows are more eerie; some are more fun. It all depends on the environment I play in.



AF:What can we expect from a live Jonathan Hape show?

JH: You can expect a handful of songs from albums I’ve been making over the past decade, though mostly PLACES and an unreleased album called Color Wounds. I generally have some moments of chaos and wall of sound; walls which I hide behind for a little while.



AF: Were you in other bands before you went solo?

JH: Room & Board is the most recent, though I have been doing solo material for a long time. I also played in the bands Marksjet, Blood on my Neck, Dearhead, and The Forgotten Sons.

Best of luck to Jonathan as he continues his tour and music career. - Almost Famous


"Places" by Jonathan Hape is an Ambient Indie Pop album.

Songs within the album are made up with the formula of rather rapid synth beats, heavily effected guitar (drowned in reverb) that hold melodies together with layers of vocals mixed low in the production. Ultimately the sound accomplished is very textural, rich, ambient vibe that follows traditional song structure.

Songs like "Whirling Dirvish" repeat lines over and over for a trance like feel to the song.

The track "Buttons" has a more defined guitar line that bounces around a lot and chirps up an octave on the chorus, the guitar is more stand out than in other tracks elevating the piece to a retro sounding midnight-surf type of melody.

Overall songs are relaxing ambient listens, framed in a pop package that makes them catchy to the easily uninterested listener.

"Places" by Jonathan Hape is available for download at his Bandcamp page. - Cincinnati Examiner


While the freakin’ cold has just arrived, Columbus OH resident Jonathan Hape is persistantly looking into the sunny and warm hearted yet distorted pop side of life. Just like Buttonswith its tropical groove and psych pop tendencies that drags you in a pastel flooded colour day while the raw, lo-fi sounds and domestic energy are emerging from the sharpen chords of his guitars in a ’60s style and vagrant attitude.

Jonathan Hape’s Places is out now on gatefold cd in a limited run of 50 copies and you can place your orders here. - Sound Injections


While the freakin’ cold has just arrived, Columbus OH resident Jonathan Hape is persistantly looking into the sunny and warm hearted yet distorted pop side of life. Just like Buttonswith its tropical groove and psych pop tendencies that drags you in a pastel flooded colour day while the raw, lo-fi sounds and domestic energy are emerging from the sharpen chords of his guitars in a ’60s style and vagrant attitude.

Jonathan Hape’s Places is out now on gatefold cd in a limited run of 50 copies and you can place your orders here. - Sound Injections


As I look out my window and view the rain pouring out of the cold, grey sky, I immediately turn to my computer for some comfort. Upon listening to the first 30 seconds of Places I knew I found exactly what I was looking for. Jonathan Hape has written a wonderfully lo-fi/dream pop album that is as catchy as it is vivid. Places is candy to your ears, a sweet treat for rainy days and spirited nights. Do yourself a favor, download and listen generously. @LeahLovecat - Dingus On Music dot com


Best solo album:
I was floored by Matt Munhall's one-man variety show Three and charmed by Dane Terry's neo-vaudevillian Songs of the Telephant. But nothing prepared me for Jonathan Hape's Microphones-inspired artistic leap, Carnivore. - Columbus Alive


The term 'singer/songwriter' is only about 45 years old now. Critics and fans alike marveled at the brilliance of musicians such as Woody Gutherie, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, and countless others. Current heartthrobs who hold the singer/songwriter tag include Connor Oberst, John Vanderslice, and Elliott Smith. The pin now also sticks to the lapel of Ohio based artist Jonathan Hape, who may be much younger than those he currently shares the title with while also being equally talented... - Dayton City Paper


The term 'singer/songwriter' is only about 45 years old now. Critics and fans alike marveled at the brilliance of musicians such as Woody Gutherie, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, and countless others. Current heartthrobs who hold the singer/songwriter tag include Connor Oberst, John Vanderslice, and Elliott Smith. The pin now also sticks to the lapel of Ohio based artist Jonathan Hape, who may be much younger than those he currently shares the title with while also being equally talented... - Dayton City Paper


Ohio based singer/songwriter Jonathan Hape creates highly unique music that has an absorbing moody quality. Jonathan’s music has obviously emanated from a deep sector of his soul. Songs like the alt folk “Picturebox,” subtly joyful “Happiness Needs Hired Help” and Beatle-esque blues “Fish Song: Throat” are real gems. With lush vocals, ethereal guitar work and intricate but laid back rhythms, this music is quite fresh and enjoyable. - Music Morsels


Jonathan Hape raised his right hand to high-five me.
I had just pointed out that his new album, Carnivore, sounds like a high-fidelity version of the Microphones' The Glow, Pt. 2. Hape has been fascinated with Phil Elverum's analog indie-pop symphonies for years, though it never quite showed on previous releases like Letters to India and I'm Awake/I'm Asleep.
"The album went from being a really big influence to just swallowing me whole," Hape explained.
Frankly, he's the one who deserves a high-five. Spotting Hape's influences is no great feat - The National and Death Cab for Cutie are in there too - because they bleed through to the surface frequently throughout Carnivore. But that transparency doesn't keep the record from being a massive step forward for one of the city's most ambitious musicians.
"Really the entire record is where almost all records begin, which is mega-changes happening in your life," Hape said. "It seems like most artists tend to reevaluate within their art."
For Hape, 24, the change was a combination of factors: a bad breakup with his girlfriend of three years, adjusting to a new job in Columbus after moving from Mansfield and incessant drama with his roommates. As he coped with a deep depression, he sought for the first time to make an album to please himself rather than to impress outsiders. The result, ironically, has been his most acclaimed release to date.
"I was never going to write a record that was 'about life,' quote-unquote, that was like, 'You broke up with me, blah blah blah.' I wanted it to be literally about life happening, the cycles flowing - breathing in what the trees give us, everything," Hape said.
His take might come off a bit New Age, but the album also features his first song in some time to address his Christian faith. "The Lord" is alternately comforting and harrowing depending on your perspective, but it's fascinating either way. Framing a divine monologue in a swarm of multi-tracked strums synced up intentionally askew, Hape emerged with something like the love child of the Microphones and Sufjan Stevens.
Other moments on Carnivore are more straightforward but just as melancholic. Each track is an orchestra of overdubs drawn from diverse corners of Hape's sonic palette, from the noise explosion of "My Naked Skin" to the swelling grandeur of "We Were the Sky."
On tour, Hape plays alone, recreating and reinterpreting the sound through a series of loops. Between his low-key solo jaunts and big-budget stints playing bass for Columbus-based Christian rapper John Reuben, he's frequently away from home. That ceaseless route will wind through Columbus again next Wednesday, though, when Hape headlines Carabar.
Show up and give the guy a high-five, why don't you?

- Chris DeVille - Columbus Alive


Jonathan Hape raised his right hand to high-five me.
I had just pointed out that his new album, Carnivore, sounds like a high-fidelity version of the Microphones' The Glow, Pt. 2. Hape has been fascinated with Phil Elverum's analog indie-pop symphonies for years, though it never quite showed on previous releases like Letters to India and I'm Awake/I'm Asleep.
"The album went from being a really big influence to just swallowing me whole," Hape explained.
Frankly, he's the one who deserves a high-five. Spotting Hape's influences is no great feat - The National and Death Cab for Cutie are in there too - because they bleed through to the surface frequently throughout Carnivore. But that transparency doesn't keep the record from being a massive step forward for one of the city's most ambitious musicians.
"Really the entire record is where almost all records begin, which is mega-changes happening in your life," Hape said. "It seems like most artists tend to reevaluate within their art."
For Hape, 24, the change was a combination of factors: a bad breakup with his girlfriend of three years, adjusting to a new job in Columbus after moving from Mansfield and incessant drama with his roommates. As he coped with a deep depression, he sought for the first time to make an album to please himself rather than to impress outsiders. The result, ironically, has been his most acclaimed release to date.
"I was never going to write a record that was 'about life,' quote-unquote, that was like, 'You broke up with me, blah blah blah.' I wanted it to be literally about life happening, the cycles flowing - breathing in what the trees give us, everything," Hape said.
His take might come off a bit New Age, but the album also features his first song in some time to address his Christian faith. "The Lord" is alternately comforting and harrowing depending on your perspective, but it's fascinating either way. Framing a divine monologue in a swarm of multi-tracked strums synced up intentionally askew, Hape emerged with something like the love child of the Microphones and Sufjan Stevens.
Other moments on Carnivore are more straightforward but just as melancholic. Each track is an orchestra of overdubs drawn from diverse corners of Hape's sonic palette, from the noise explosion of "My Naked Skin" to the swelling grandeur of "We Were the Sky."
On tour, Hape plays alone, recreating and reinterpreting the sound through a series of loops. Between his low-key solo jaunts and big-budget stints playing bass for Columbus-based Christian rapper John Reuben, he's frequently away from home. That ceaseless route will wind through Columbus again next Wednesday, though, when Hape headlines Carabar.
Show up and give the guy a high-five, why don't you?

- Chris DeVille - Columbus Alive


This singer/songwriter from Lexington, OH is quite prolific. Armed with a minimal amount of instrumentation, he crafts one gem after another on the eleven-track Letters to India. With a slightly sultry voice, and little more than a whisper, he tells stories that pull you in with their personal minutiae and particulars in regards to relationships in just the most charming ways. Like the music that accompanies it, the lyrics take a subtle and detailed route to carry the story. [Picture Box: Apartment Scene/Girl] is a short story set to song of a girl that has to get married too soon, and later takes a trip to remember what her life might have been if she had made different choices; but now she sits in her new home of India.

This guys home needs to be on indie-rockers maps, thats for sure.

-Written by Doug Van Pelt, Editor and Publisher of HM magazine. - HM Magazine


Discography

"R+B" - by Room & Board May 2013
PLACES - Sept 2012
Blood Demos - Sept 2010
Carnivore (LP) - May 2009
Herbivore EP - Feb 2008
I'm Awake/I'm Asleep - Aug 2006
Letters To India - Aug 2005
The Trees EP - June 2005
Give Me The Antidote - Feb 2004

Photos

Bio

Live at the Southern Theatre:

We Were The Sky: http://youtu.be/BG0Z1l3Aa3c
Whirling Dervish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keB_zcPLOAA

Jonathan's music is a blend of wonder and and observation, a laying down of things that must be said and felt. Going from layers of post rock guitar work in his earlier recordings to the percussive and stampeding soundscapes of his newer material, Jonathan's work is tied together as a body by it's genuine nature.

The newest full length release, PLACES, is a lo-fi dream pop record which shares the haunting sounds of previous work while pushing the envelope of pop, ambient, and dance music. My Dreams Are All About The Same House, Buttons and In Different Shapes are from this album, whereas Carnivore, Hibernate and We Were The Sky are from the 2009 "blood-soaked soundscape" Carnivore.

Room & Board, Hape's new-wave/dark pop band emerged in 2010 as Honeymoon and in 2013 have released their debut. "Visual Property" and "Peak Physique" are from this record.

"Spinner" and "Neo Neoism" are two stand alone songs Hape wrote, recorded and produced entirely in a matter of 1 afternoon each between the releases of PLACES and Room & Board's self titled release.

Live, Hape loops his sounds organically and unexpectedly with live and electronic percussion, octave bass, ethereal guitar, and sweeping harmonies. The presentation is simple and energetic while taking the meticulously recorded material into a realm of spontaneity.
With Room & Board, Hape fronts in this trio on guitar and lead vocals with Nick Baker on bass and Andy Foster on drums.

Jonathan Hape has been creating music under his own name and with other groups and artists for the past decade. As a producer, singer/songwriter, drummer, guitarist and bassist Hape has released 4 full lengths, 2 EP's, multiple demo comps, and has toured nationally and regionally for years. Hape has performed in such groups as:


Room & Board - Guitarist/Vocalist/Songwriter/Producer
(roomandboard.bandcamp.com)

John Reuben - Touring Bassist
(johnreuben.com)

The Lexington Chapter - Drummer
(myspace.com/thelexingtonchapter)

Steev Richter - Guitarist/Engineer
(myspace.com/steevrichter)

Matt Potts - Drummer/Bassist/Guitarist/Engineer
(myspace.com/mattpottsmusic)

The Winston Jazz Routine - Drummer
(therecordmachine.net/blog/artists/the-winston-jazz-routine/)

Nicolas Rowe and the Forgotten Sons of Steel River - Drummer/Bassist/Guitarist/Engineer (forgottensons.bandcamp.com)

Rob Allen - Guitarist
(http://www.myspace.com/roballen)

Blood On My Neck - Drummer
(http://www.myspace.com/bloodonmyneck80)
and

The Fuss - Drummer/Guitarist/Bassist/Producer/Writer
(http://ihatethefuss.bandcamp.com)