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Takeda – Hufsa EP

Sarah Tyler


For this talented Norwich trio ambience seems to be a resounding factor of the EP as a whole, built through a blend of haunting strings, continuous finger picking guitar and sustained synthesized sounds. This whole combination creates a feeling of momentum and expectance or on the contrary where is this music going? The mixture of prominent drum rolls and banjo like guitar in almost every track paints a picturesque primitive illusion associated with nature and freedom, alluding to Huckleberry Finn fantasies of sailing downstream in a slow moving river boat.

Although from this elaborate metaphoric description the music would appear to have many instrumental layers and sounds, the two part male and female vocal harmonies are what make this band so striking. Lead singer Phil’s unique wavering vocals could arguably be described as a cross between Tom Yorke and Jack Peñate.  The lyrics are few and far between, the essence of repetition still lingering as the signature sound, definitely lots of echo and “ooohhh’s” and “ahhhh’s”.  However when vocal lines such as “I spent the summer thinking about what could of happened”  heard in track three A MillionYears are sung in isolation the impact is immense.

On that note there is a temptation with this type of ambient sound to be labelled as background music, possibly slotting Takeda into the niche polite at a dinner party i-pod mix. However the track Reverence very much creeps its way into the forefront turning any soufflé moment into something ironically sacred. Admittedly it remains quiet and in obtrusive, yet still very present, as if the unaccompanied vocals and prominent piano motifs are speaking to you and you only. I suppose it is a subjective matter as to whether you find the music eerie or tranquil, see it as having an ominous edge or find within it a sense of relief.

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