Ha Ha Tonka, the Missouri southern indie rock quartet is back with its fourth album, “Lessons,” and judging from the lead single, it’s another upbeat, mandolin-soloing effort. The album was inspired by the late children’s author Maurice Sendak’s “musings on the creative process.” I don’t see that based on the first song. Perhaps it is modeled more after the Arcade Fire-led soundtrack to the film adaptation of “Where The Wild Things Are.”
Anyway, Ha Ha Tonka is one of those bands that should be getting more attention than it is, especially that southern rock is having a renaissance now, so perhaps this song will get you to look through their back catalogue.
I suggest starting with “Buckle in the Bible Belt.”
You can also read my story (based on an interview with singer Brian Roberts) here. It ran in the Oakland Tribune in 2011.
See Ha Ha Tonka on Oct. 5 at Thee Parkside.