December 2, 2023

Six weeks into 2018, and I already have my favorite new musical find of the year.

Keep in mind as you read this that I’m a 47-year-old who loves all-things 70s and 80s and writes and performs yacht rock. I say that because I think you might be surprised. I’m not surprised.

I have a varied and broad taste.

It’s Sofi Tukker, the New York duo comprised of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, hence the Sophie Tucker (Sofi Tukker). They met as students at Brown a few years ago. I first learned of them from the song, “Best Friend,” which has a couple of lines that can be heard in Apple commercials.

Yo, you wanna meet me at the bar? (yawp)
Yo, you wanna meet me at the lounge? (yawp)
Yo, you wanna meet me at the club? (yawp)
Yo, you wanna meet me downtown? (okay)

I didn’t put two and two together until an edition of American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest on I Heart Radio. “Best Friend” was #24 that week, and my first thought was: that’s actually a very cleverly crafted hook.

I think that I’ll keep loving you, way past sixty-five
We made a language for us two, we don’t need to describe
Every time time you call on me, I drop what I do
You are my best friend and we’ve got some shit to shoot

The primary writing credit is given to Alisa Ueno, who is the Japanese MC in the middle of the track. She’s also the creative director for Fig & Viper out of Tokyo. I know nothing about fashion, but I suspect that’s a big deal.

When you get to be 47, everything is a little bit about something you remember from years gone by, and their video reminds me of Len’s “Steal My Sunshine,” which I absolutely loved back in 1999 when I was 29.

Mostly, it’s the riding around that reminds me of the video. Len was on bikes; Sofi Tukker on ATVs.

Sofi Tukker’s sound beyond “Best Friend” is highly creative although not nearly as hook-driven as their hit. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t grow on you. Their sound combined with their look and vibe make them a terrific group for a digital era. Check out their tune, “Drinkee.” I’m not sure it holds up without the video, until you realize that it’s infectious all on its own. It’s like the video is a gateway medium to listening.

Another song that caught me eye was the tune, “F*ck They,” which after a couple of listens came off as incredibly clever although, as a straight-laced kind of dude, I’m probably not adding this to the ol’ in-car playlist. Alas, I can’t think of how many times somebody has said, “They do this,” or “they said that,” and I always want to retort, “I don’t care about ‘they!'” If anything, I would have liked to hear heavier instrumentation in the chorus, maybe a heavy guitar. Really bring the noise right there.

Anyway, it’s a small sample, but they’re my favorite discovery of the year so far. Love their look, their vibe and I love “Best Friend.” I think I’ll love it way past 65.



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