Hooks are very important is you want to catch something big. Ha Ha Tonka pack a tackle box of songs with sharp words and notes to reel in anything within hearing range on their recent release, Heart-Shaped Mountain. The band opens the album with dueling guitar jangle that wiggles and squirms as the band count to three, aiming low to reach their goal in a “Race to the Bottom”. Heart-Shaped Mountain dives in as it rattles on strums and percussion to ask for a come on back home “Favor”, sparkles notes like light on water as it whispers secrets in “All of You”, thumps a heartbeat for a rhythm to follow in “Going That Way”, and weighs present realities against dreams of the past with “Everything”.
Love and growth are the themes for Heart-Shaped Mountain as the Ozark Mountain-based band looks back on four albums, world tours, finding friends, and building families. Ha Ha Tonka used the lessons learned to carve out the stories on the album as they musically expanded on their foundation of strong harmonies with an Indie Rock Americana for a guitar band. Heart-Shaped Mountain envisions a “Land Beyond” as a happy summerland with 24/7 sunshine bliss as Ha Ha Tonka head to “Arkansas” on a runaway rock’n’roll beat, climb high on slow footfalls of rhythm to clear their mind with a new year in “Telluride” and pick up the pace to match the melody flying by to ponder in “The Party”.