Small town changing: songwriter working on Trenton recording

Amy MacKenzie
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TRENTON – A Halifax-based singer and songwriter from Trenton says seeing industry and businesses close down in his hometown has been difficult to watch, and he has translated those emotions into a series of songs.

Aaron Hartling, who performs under the title of “Heartbreak a Stranger,” is releasing a CD titled “The Trenton Project EP” with songs that tell Hartling’s story of Trenton.

“I’ve been away for 20 years now, and I‘ve come back to see family and I would ask ‘How’s the town doing?’ ‘How’s TrentonWorks doing?’ ‘What’s going on?’ And the news would always be the same: that nothing is going on and they’re looking for new owners, people are looking for work and little by little the town changed,” he said. “When I was growing up there, there were lots of people roaming the main street, it was bustling.”

But now, he says it makes him sad to see that the gas stations have closed, the banks have closed and “iconic buildings have been bulldozed,” he said. “And it’s sad to see.”

But he says the town’s history has seen this before and all it needs is another industry to get back on its feet.

“When I was doing research on the town, it was this time 100 years ago that Trenton was in the same position. There was no industry then somebody came in, started another industry from the ground up and built the town into what it was for me as a child,” he said. “So I look at it as circular.”

Hartling said the songs are not reflective of Trenton’s industrial past, but are stories of its present. “The songs on the Trenton EP are the soundtrack of a small town changing, whose future is slipping into unoccupied buildings and retirees,” a press release about the project said.

Hartling recorded the CD and is paying it off through crowd funding on indiegogo.com. Indiegogo has become a popular way for artists to raise funds to create projects by offering their supporters “perks” in exchange for funds for their project. The perks on Hartling’s campaign, which is still live until Thursday as he still needs funds for CD duplicating, include Hartling coming to perform at the funders house, a haircut, and original art work that relates to the theme of the songs about Trenton.

Hartling said the perks will be sent out to his supporters on Feb. 1 so the artists have enough time to complete the artwork. He said he plans on releasing The Trenton Project EP on March 16.

Supporters can help fund Hartling’s Trenton Project EP by donating in exchange for perks at indiegogo.com/TrentonProject. Samples of the music that will be on the Trenton Project EP are available at www.heartbreakastranger.com

Geographic location: Trenton

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  • Roddy Block Head
    November 01, 2012 - 23:22

    I am just curious, what is with the 2 Clubs tucked in the hat. Does it have a secret meaning? I think he is cute like Paul Simon. Hopefully the funfest or the legion might book him for a concert. Maybe we could have a bee-hive concert. There have been so many musically talented individuals, the town should be proud. Go Arun, you rock!

  • David Fisher
    November 01, 2012 - 14:14

    Good luck Arun.

  • Val Murray
    November 01, 2012 - 13:13

    I can't wait to get this CD. I have known this musician my entire life and I knew this is what he would do. He likes to get his hands on material items and get right down to business. This is how Eminem started. Big things coming for this fella

    • Blake Fwaser
      November 02, 2012 - 12:24

      Helo Aron, gled thangs r gong goode..