Press Kit

A Sunken Ship Irony

A Sunken Ship Irony began in 2004 as the solo project of songwriter Josh Wirtanen, but became a three-piece band by the end of 2005. Over the course of their long career, the band changed lineups several times while releasing over a dozen records. They wrote theme songs for multiple podcasts and even had their song “Island of Misfit Toys” appear in the 2009 film Friends with Benefits.

The band’s sound blends MySpace-era indie folk with anti-folk and folk punk, often using synthesizers and toy xylophones as a stark contrast against classic folk instruments like acoustic guitar, ukulele, and mandolin. Wirtanen’s vocal style is drenched in emotion, almost always layered in recordings, and the guitars have a distinctive low-fi sound that makes the band’s music easily identifiable.

A Sunken Ship Irony’s 2019 album Ant, I was called one of the best records of the year by Melodic Noise Media, who also picked the band’s October EP as one of the six best Minnesota EPs of 2022. When reviewing their 2020 Everyone Is Sad EP, critic Dan DeMarco said, “A Sunken Ship Irony has crafted an excellent collection of short songs that provide, in the absence of real answers, something a little deeper and perhaps more hopeful than that, which is real camaraderie with their listeners.”

In 2023, Souped Up Vinyl Reviews wrote: “If you are a fan of earnest indie folk projects who aren’t afraid to avoid mincing words, you’ll find a new gem in A Sunken Ship Irony.” Wirtanen has been called one of Central Minnesota’s greatest living songwriters.

A Sunken Ship Irony

Listen to “Into the Sea” and “Partial Nephrectomy” below to get a taste of A Sunken Ship Irony’s unique sound.

For booking and all other inquiries, please email Josh Wirtanen at joshuajwirtanen at You can also reach the band on Facebook or Instagram: @asunkenshipirony.

Band photos by Tom Smouse. High-resolution, print-quality images are available by request.

A Sunken Ship Irony