Migration – Takka Takka

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Although they inhabit the indie-rock world, Takka Takka have developed even stronger cues from both electronica and world-music since their first, indie and blues-based album, We Feel Safer At Night. With titles like “Monkey Forest Road,” “Lion In The Waves,” and “You and Universe,” these guys seem to have a (somewhat ironic?) fascination and respect for the power of the natural world that is further reflected in their sound. Likewise, the tracks build organically, whether they’re employing a guitar or a synthesized drum. The songs are heartfelt but not boastful, emotional yet muted.

Generally, there's a grab for “atmospheric”, though the band's dueling guitars battle out a contrast between pretty and dissonant under the ongoing swell, while the moments of melodic disruption are given enough breathing room in tempo and dynamic range to fully revel in their tonal tension. Takka Takka break the solid rhythm section groove occasionally like on “Lion In The Waves”, which consists of bare acoustic strumming and a haunting vocal that moves from his usual, straightforward delivery into a, dizzying, double-tracked delay that eventually recedes back into the sparse and simple. The effect is powerful yet understated.

Another mellow beauty is “Change No Change”, a track with gentle restraint that threatens to flare into a full on beat-driven peak but never does, as anticipation adds to suspense and the song simmers. It's not their restraint that's surprising, so much as the elements they use to keep their album on cruise control. Ultimately, this is a very different band. With Migration, Takka Takka have moved from the obvious trailmarkers of the Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan mixed with their early 90 fetishism of indie rock towards hypnotic songs that draw as much from “tropical” and “jungle” nuances as they do from a krautier, chunkier sort of rhythm. We'll never know if these changes are natural, or trend-biting. Either way, the new Takka Takka is far removed from its past, less an indie buzz band under the wings of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, then something subtler, more mellow; it's an atmosphere that might be one part Vampire Weekend, or two parts Yeasayer, but while those are still barnstormer bands of sorts, Takka Takka matches the effect of a satisfying day alone indoors with the faint sound of rain falling beyond the windows.