Apes of the State is an independent folk punk band from Lancaster, PA. As a band, they are driven by DIY ethics with a goal of helping as many people as possible with their music. They sing songs about whatever makes them feel things, like love, heartbreak, student loan debt, regret, and overcoming addictio
Apes of the State is an independent Lancaster, PA based folk/pop/punk band consisting of: April Hartman (guitar, banjo, vocals, song writing), Dan Ebersole (mandolin, guitar), Mollie Swartz (violin, keys), and Max Scott (vocals, bells, guitar).
April’s first release, “All I Did This Summer Was Go to Rehab (2014),” can be self-described as equal parts cringey and genius. It documents her first ever experiments in song writing and sobriety after uprooting her life in New Jersey to start over post-rehab in Lancaster, PA. A short EP of songs, “Things I Never Meant to Tell You” followed in 2015 featuring songs that would later be worked into the full band known as “Apes of the State.” 2016 brought the band’s first recording, “This City Isn’t Big Enough” which was a far leap both instrumentally and quality wise from the lofi solo bedroom recordings. Their second full length album, “Pipe Dream” was released in November of 2019. “Pipe Dream” features a more dynamic sound, with the band introducing the use of percussion and electric guitar on some of the tracks.
Their sound is very lyrical, influenced by storyteller singer/songwriters such as Paul Baribeau and Everyone Except Me. Apes of the State takes the simplicity and straightforward, emotional writing style of these influences and combines it with the drive and power of a full acoustic band. Their sound is under constant evolution but is deeply rooted in punk rock, folk, and bluegrass. As a band, they are driven by DIY ethics with a goal of helping as many people as possible with their music. They sing songs about whatever makes them feel things, like love, heartbreak, student loan debt, regret, and overcoming addiction.
They have performed across the US anywhere and everywhere, from basements, backyards, and living rooms to the Warped Tour and TEDx stages. The members are also heavily involved in activism for people recovering from substance use disorder and promoting harm reduction at their shows. In 2016, April and Dan founded an organization called Second Chance to Play which aims to help individuals in rehabs and in recovery communities participate in the music scene of their hometown Lancaster.