Although I’m still adamantly opposed to telephones that get the internet… or any phone that costs more than $50 but, I must admit that, there was one good thing that came of last fall’s unveiling of the iPhone X… a mass introduction to electro duo Sofi Tukker (Their song “”Best Friend” was featured in the commercial unveiling the product.) The New York-based duo is comprised of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern. And while they’ve been thrown under the House and EDM headings, their aesthetic sounds more like an amalgam of nu-disco and 21st Century synth-pop, with a dash of classic funk. Their debut full-length, Treehouse, hit shelves last Friday and tonight they kick off their Treehouse Tour at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC. This Thursday, April 19th, will have Sofi Tukker headline our very own Union Transfer. I recently got a chance to chat with Sophie and Tucker about their early successes and what can be expected of them in 2018 (Their currently scheduled dates take them through the end of September, and include a plethora of dates in both the US and Europe.)
Izzy Cihak: I realize this is a big question but, considering that Sofi Tukker is still pretty new, what have been some of the highlights of the project so far? I know your debut LP just came out, but you’ve already achieved a lot of really cool things.
Sofi Tukker: We have had so many incredible experiences these past couple years. Definitely some obvious ones like playing Coachella, going to the Grammys, hearing our song on the radio, but more than anything, it’s always a highlight to be making connections with people all around the world. We have gotten to know some really inspiring and uplifting people that we continue to feel so invigorated by!
Izzy Cihak: How would you characterize your process of writing and recording together, if there even is a particular process?
Sofi Tukker: It’s really fluid and organic. We like to do it all in one room together, such that we forget who does what. We are really collaborative and brutally honest with each other, constantly giving feedback and riffing off of each other.
Izzy Cihak: Have you had any favorite reactions to your music?
Sofi Tukker: Our favorite reactions are probably from people who feel inspired to make their own music and art! That’s the best feeling: when somebody finds something in what we are doing to spark their own creative flow, no matter what that is!
Izzy Cihak: What would you consider to be the most significant influences behind Treehouse?
Sofi Tukker: Our life on the road is probably our biggest influence on this record. It’s the first time we have written music while touring and playing live and visiting different countries constantly. So, there are literally influences from all over the world, written in different studios and buses and airports and hotel rooms around the world, based on the experiences we were having while we were playing shows. We would often write songs and then try them out live and then go back and rework them. Life on the road is a really specific lifestyle too, so the content of the songs are often celebrating or dealing with everything that comes with that!
Izzy Cihak: I really love the whole album, but I’m especially into “Good Time Girl.” How did that particular track come about?
Sofi Tukker: It’s a super personal, tongue-in-cheek track. It’s actually about not being a Good Time Girl – who is somebody you can just casually call and have a good time (if you know what we mean)… but not really communicate well with.
Izzy Cihak: I dig your music videos (especially “Fuck They” and “Johny”), in addition to your sense of fashion. What is it that inspires the visual elements of Sofi Tukker? Do you have visual artists or style icons that you particularly look up to, or just find to be especially cool?
Sofi Tukker: Our friends are our style icons! Bex, who is our close friend, did an amazing job directing and styling “Johny!” Charlie Barker, who is on “Good Time Girl,” is an icon. She has inspired us a lot. Danny Moon is another friend, who has amazing style and is responsible for Tucker’s infatuation with painting his hair!
Izzy Cihak: You’re about to kick off a ton of tour dates. Are there any gigs that you’re especially excited to play, or just cities that you’re especially excited to visit or revisit?
Sofi Tukker: ALL OF THEM!!! The ones we have been to a bunch and the ones that are new to us… We’re psyched.
Izzy Cihak: Finally, what can be expected of the live experience when you play here at Union Transfer?
Sofi Tukker: A wild party with a lot of sweat and joy… and our giant midi-controller sculpture, the book tree! We love playing live and we love connecting with people more than anything! It’s always fun.