Ha Ha Tonka – “Rewrite Our Lives”

Ha Ha Tonka?

Okay, I remember the Tonka trucks my brothers and I used to play with as children. Ha Ha? Well we all know, that is laughter, right?

This band, Ha Ha Tonka, isn’t really associated with either one of these. The name comes from their roots in their home state. They are from Missouri and it is the name of a beloved state park. The park is apparently full of natural bridges, sandstone cliffs, caves and a castle. Someone built the castle around 1900, and even though it burned down, the ruins are still an attraction. Ha Ha Tonka seems to want us to know “there is more to their home stomping grounds than Branson, walnut bowl outlet stores and Jesse James’ hideout.”

Well, I can tell you that there is more to this band than their unusual name. I find them to be truly talented, and they possess that much loved raucous Americana, southern rock sound.  Their new album, Lessons, just came out in late September, and this track, “Rewrite Our Lives” is one of my favorites. It contains a gravelly solo vocal, bursts of lively four part harmonies, and a rolling percussion. It is full of energy and also lyrically thoughtful. All of these are the perfect ingredients for a memorable song.

Check out Ha Ha Tonka and their new music. They are touring pretty extensively throughout the US, so note their concert schedule too. Enjoy!

Ecstasy – “Exhale”

Pop for your Tuesday night. So that you can dance for hours.

For those that like Naked and Famous and/or the dark undertones, I present Ecstasy. They’ve been around for about 10 months now and all their available tunes are worth a listen. It’s indie pop music that has that slight cinematic verve to it that I enjoy. I won’t lie the false falsetto on “Don’t think I tell you enough, I love hanging out with you” was the clincher on featuring this track today; just love that lyric and how it’s delivered.

Here is their Facebook. Enjoy Exhale and check out their cover of Band of Horses’s The Funeral on Soundcloud.

Winchester Holiday – “First Time”

Winchester Holiday is from just up the road from me in Denver. The Northern Colorado band has members based in Fort Collins and Boulder. The group consists of two pairs of brothers, the Cecils and Workmans, and one more member to create a quintet (Dan Workman, Pete Workman, Wilson Cecil, Noah Cecil, and Adam Federer). The pair of brothers were raised on the same street.

It might be because I was listening to the Sound of Silence prior to the initial listen, but First Time has a Simon and Garfunkel vibe to me. The easy harmonies and the general sentiments also make me think it. It’s a song that I really like to put on and concentrate on a task at hand.

Winchester Holiday released a self-titled EP at the beginning of the month so go check it out at Bandcamp. Here is their Facebook. Enjoy First Time.

Darlingside – “Still”

I am on way to Boston. I can’t wait to see and experience all that I missed, just because I have only passed through Boston on my way to somewhere else. I know that I am a “different” visitor because everyone else that I am traveling with looks up restaurants, shows, and beautiful parks and historic landmarks. Yep, you guessed it, I am searching for the best local bands. It is an illness where there is no cure.

This is a song and a band that I was thrilled to stumble upon.  I will definitely put Darlingside on my playlist. They pride themselves on their original music played by actual instruments. No electronic or synth here. Darlingside is out of Cambridge and loaded with a compilation of deeply, magnificent  songs.  I really love this one song I am featuring, “Still”. It speaks to me. It reminds me of those people that I love, still. I think about college especially.  I embrace my years in college and the friends where I experienced the start of maturity or crazy immaturity with. College, and just after, is such an amazing time of living, compressed in such a short period of time. Those are the people who truly know me and what I am deep down inside.  I love them all, still. I wonder if they feel the same.

Listen for yourself and just see if it doesn’t bring up a thought or an emotion that stays with you, but you thought you forgot. This song has wonderful vocals, thoughtful lyrics, and a melody that sticks in your heart. Darlingside won’t be doing a show while I am in Boston, but I am happy to have searched and found a band and a sound that pleases me. Thank you, Boston.