Sofi Tukker: ‘If you think you might not be jumping that high, I’ll force you to’
20.06.2022

Sofi Tukker: ‘If you think you might not be jumping that high, I’ll force you to’

Sofi Tukker
Words by Ben Lamb

Sofi Tukker bring their wonderful 'WET TENNIS' world experience down under and the party continues with their sophomore release.

Australia’s got a love affair with Sofi Tukker. Chuck on the radio, you’ll probably hear a Sofi Tukker track or two, they’ve played some memorable shows at the iconic Groovin The Moo over the years, and their hits ‘Drinkee’ and ‘Purple Hat’ have each reached platinum on the ARIA charts.

Ahead of their recent album drop WET TENNIS, the pair will be gracing Aussie shores, playing Splendour and a bunch of shows across the country. WET TENNIS follows 2016’s Soft Animals, the EP that shot them into fame with breakout singles ‘Drinkee’ and ‘Awoo’, and saw tours across the world, late night appearances and spots on festival lineups like Coachella.

Read Melbourne’s most comprehensive range of features and interviews here.

WET TENNIS, or When Everyone Tries to Evolve, Nothing Negative Is Safe, is the perfect follow up to their debut, and is the perfect album for these times, a positive journey featuring a soundtrack that’ll make you want to get up and move. Musically, the record sees the pair even diving into mellower moments.

Now the album’s out, the pair have been hitting stages in the States with a massive show that’s set to delight Aussie fans when it heads here in July.

“It feels amazing to have the album out,” Sophie, (Hawley-Weld, vocals + guitar) says. “We’re on tour right now, and it’s great to get to be playing the music every night, it’s exciting, it’s been a long time in the making.

“We also created a whole WET TENNIS production show where we’re on a tennis court with a scoreboard, really living the WET TENNIS world.

“I play a scoreboard like a drum set,” Tucker (Halpern, percussion) says. “And it triggers sounds and video, and it’s really fun to see this idea we thought of during the pandemic be out there in the world.”

WET TENNIS could be considered a lockdown baby, Sophie notes the extended free time thanks to the years of self-sequestration was the perfect opportunity to finish all the unfinished music from years prior.

“We were working on WET TENNIS from before lockdown, so a lot of the songs are from life and personal experiences, we spent a lot of time during the pandemic looking at songs we had started, and just finishing them, adding new elements and stuff.”

 

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The title track ‘Wet Tennis’ has been a clear fan favourite, the sensual horns and infectious hook will get stuck in your head. The pair detail the journey ‘Wet Tennis’ took to get on the album.

“‘Wet Tennis’ was the last song we wrote, and we had already named the album,” Sophie notes. “We knew what we wanted the world to look and feel like.

“We were in our house, just kind of goofing around, and Tucker started singing ‘Bring your hips to life’ in a really bad boy band accent.

“We wanted a fun song that would make people smile while dancing, it didn’t need to be emotional, it didn’t need to be deep, we just wanted to have fun on a song, but we felt like it was almost too electronic.

“So we went to Miami, and we got a bunch of incredible musicians to play, we got real incredible horn players to play like a whole orchestra.”

“It was a little linear, and we felt like it needed that funk, the groove that is just impossible to make from a computer,” Tucker adds.

WET TENNIS features the stylings we’ve come to love, but at times the album ventures into reflective territory, with a calming ‘Interlude’, and a cover of ‘What a Wonderful World’.

“We make music that feels right in the moment. We just follow what we’re inspired by, and ‘What a Wonderful World’ and ‘Interlude’ felt really organic and natural.”

“Sometimes things come from totally opposite vibes,” Tucker mentions. “‘Interlude’ was originally written for a bridge in a dance song, we loved it so much, but it didn’t fit in the energetic fun song.

“We didn’t want to just lose it, so we just repurposed it, then it had its own vibe. But it was written to an upbeat, bouncy song. You never know how things are going to come out”

The features on WET TENNIS come through hard and strong, Mahmut Orhan, John Summit, BOII, Amadou and Mariam, and even Tucker’s dad each make an appearance across the record.

Tucker explains the Sofi Tukker feature process, which changes from song to song, the artist coming in at different points throughout the creative process.

“The one we did with Amadou and Mariam, was really just a small musical chunk, then we went back and forth, it was very from the beginning.

“Then there’s ‘Sun Came Up’ with John Summit, where we had a full demo of the song for a while, and never knew what to do with it. Then we were chatting with him on Instagram and sent him the demo, and he just took it that final step to make it feel so good.”

The pair are on the heels of an Aussie tour, gracing some of our biggest stages across the country, and will be also making their way to Splendour in the Grass, which, as Tucker notes, has been a long time coming.

“We’ve been really hoping to play (Splendour) for a while. It came in a few years ago, and it’s just kept getting pushed, so there’s even more anticipation. We feel really excited to be back down under, international artists haven’t been there in a while. I think it’s going to be a special, special feeling.”

They’ll be hitting The Forum in late July for a show you’ll never forget, they’ll be bringing their world full of excitement down under.

“It’s a whole world that we’re bringing, it’s super high energy. It’s a bit of a competition. You never know who’s going to win,” Sophie adds.

“It’s fun. There’s a crazy energy. People should prepare to get sweaty, wear some comfy shoes, if you think you might not be jumping that high, I’ll force you to.” Tucker says with a laugh.

“We feel so lucky that people come to the shows and are just so joyous, it’s a really amazing culture.”

WET TENNIS is out now via Ultra Music. They’ll be hitting The Forum on July 23, grab your tickets here