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We Feel Safer At Night

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Album Review

There's an airy simplicity and a reluctance to embrace the heavy on Takka Takka's first full-length album, We Feel Safer at Night, that has encouraged a number of folks to tag them as an indie variant on folk-rock. But if Takka Takka are folkies, it's in the same way Simon & Garfunkel were imagined to be folk — this is folk-rock from city kids, smart and just a shade streetwise, and though Takka Takka don't seem to know how to embrace cynicism, they understand how to make like they've seen enough not to be surprised, even when the occasional moment of wide-eyed wonder betrays them. While acoustic guitars dominate most of the songs on We Feel Safer at Night and pianos, harmonicas, and muted vocals maintain a sense of musical restraint throughout, leader Gabe Levine knows how to make his songs emotionally felt without ranting or playing to the balcony, and the best moments suggest a spiritual kinship with the third Velvet Underground — quiet but not meek, delivering the punch without leaving a bruise. While Takka Takka clearly have their sound and attitude worked out, songwriting is still something of a problem, and too many of the melodies on We Feel Safer at Night follow the same sort of gentle mid-tempo pace, so this disc begins to wear out its welcome sooner than it needs to. But there's enough heart, soul, and imagination in We Feel Safer at Night to confirm Takka Takka are on to something, and it's a strong and engaging debut from a band worth watching.


Formed: 2004 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

A warm combination of folk-inspired songwriting and indie rock instrumentation characterizes the music of Brooklyn's Takka Takka, who formed in 2004 after bandleader Gabe Levine (vocals, keyboard, guitar) relocated to New York from Texas. The band's early lineup also included drummer Conrad Doucette, bassist J.P. Jones (replaced by Grady Jurrens in 2006), and guitarist Damion Jurrens (replaced by Rene Planchon and Drew Thurlow in July 2007). After recording the debut album We Feel Safer at Night...
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We Feel Safer At Night, Takka Takka
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