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iTunes Review

Ha Ha Tonka occupies an interesting and loosely defined territory on the Americana map. Fans and critics frequently liken the group to Paul Simon for its literate, stylistically ambitious songs, which employ a grandly rhythmic approach far beyond the band’s roots in Springfield, Mo. (“Staring at the End of Our Lives” sounds like a lost song from Graceland.) The “Lessons” implied in the album’s title are literal. According to the band, the inspiration for this fourth album rests with the late illustrator and (in)famous children’s author Maurice Sendak. The band muses on the creative process and what it means to be an artist, with Sendak’s irreverent, joyous, cranky, and hilarious views of life included in the process. To better capture a world of wonder, the band opted for playful, orchestrated arrangements beyond its usual economical style, with the title track berating oneself for having to learn the same life lessons over and over. “Rewrite Our Lives,” with a jittery rhythm, meets a midlife crisis head-on. “Dead to the World” humorously acknowledges being too worn out to change.

Customer Reviews


I think arabella needs to be listened to, it is way too cool to be left behind

Who is this?

They're awesome!


First saw these guys open for Murder By Death. I've been a huge fan ever since. Amazing mix of folk and alternative. I hope they come to Florida again. Or maybe one day I can see them play in the Ozarks... Great new album gentlemen!


Formed: 2004 in Springfield, MO

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Indie rock band Ha Ha Tonka were formed in 2004 in Springfield, Missouri, by singer/guitarist Brian Roberts with Lucas Long (bass, vocals), Brett Anderson (keyboards, guitar, vocals), and Lennon Bone (drums, vocals). Initially, the name of the group was Amsterband. It was with this moniker that they released their debut CD, Beatchen, and began to tour extensively. In 2006, they followed with a second self-released album, Buckle in the Bible Belt. In May 2007, they signed to independent Chicago-based...
Full Bio
Lessons, Ha Ha Tonka
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