Ha Ha Tonka is the unmistakable indie-meets-Southern rock band comprised of Brett Anderson, Lennon Bone, Lucas Long and Brian Roberts. Sitting at the crossroads of Americana and indie- where Alabama meets Arcade Fire- the quartet are primed for the release of their highly anticipated fourth full-length album, Lessons, on September 24th via Bloodshot Records.
As the title implies, the inspiration behind Lessons stems from life’s biggest ones. Motivated by late illustrator and renowned children’s author Maurice Sendak’s musings on the creative process and what it means to be an artist, the band captured this message and the fragile, oft-irrational comedy of life in sonic form. Produced by Dan Molad (Lucius) and The Ryantist, the notion of life’s immediacy is kept firmly at the forefront of Lessons. The band toys with the theme of living beyond a normal lifetime- the concept of reliving and rewriting our lives, and the lessons we can all learn along the way. Sonically, Lessons marks a departure from Ha Ha Tonka’s more stripped down style to one that is filled with lush instrumentation.
Album cut “Colorful Kids” is both bright and melancholy, the upbeat melodies belie its darker subject matter. Check out the “Colorful Kids” MP3 where it premiered with SPIN.
“Rewrite Our Lives” is an energetic cut containing a runaway chorus and rolling percussion. “Arabella,” meanwhile, is an initially more downtempo piece with a vulnerable hesitance that gradually builds to a stomping refrain. Title track “Lessons” is a bittersweet cut filled with buzzy, distorted electric guitar that perhaps carries the message of the album truest to form.
Named after Ha Ha Tonka State Park in their native Missouri, the band has become renowned for its authentic, effortless brand of indie-Americana, seamlessly fusing the traditional with modern, contemporary elements. Having played alongside the likes of Old 97s, Murder By Death, Langhorne Slim, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Meat Puppets and more, Ha Ha Tonka will take to the road this fall on a full North American tour. - Bloodshot Records