Sofi Tukker, the New York-based electropop duo consisting of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, are an act that formed out of the shadow of adversity. Halpern had been focused on basketball while attending Brown University, but was forced to reassess his plans after being derailed by a medical issue. While recuperating he focused on music, teaching himself how to DJ and picking up production skills. He and Sophie would cross paths soon after and the duo have been on a solid upward trajectory ever since. They released their well-received debut EP Soft Animals last summer. Their first single, “Drinkee” was featured in an Apple Watch commercial and would go on to be nominated for a 2017 Grammy for Best Dance Recording. Continuing into 2017, Sofi Tukker show no signs of slowing down. They have released two new singles, “Greed” and “Johny,” which appears in EA Sports’ FIFA 17 video game. The duo have also embarked on a headlining tour that included a stop at Kings in Raleigh NC.
The last time we caught Sofi Tukker in Raleigh, they were opening for M83 on the big stage at Red Hat Amphitheater early last summer. Despite the tough opening slot, they made a positive impression. The fans that gathered at Kings were eager to catch the duo headlining in a more intimate venue. From the moment they took the stage, Sofi Tukker delivered a solid dance party vibe. Their infectious collection of rhythmic jungle-pop dance tracks infused with Brazillian instrumentation and energetic guitar lines immediately had the crowd up and moving. Sophie took the lead on guitar and vocals while Tucker delivered the bass lines and held down the electronic back end. At one point they both picked up drum sticks and proceeded to display some impressive percussive skill as they generated a set of beats by drumming on a ring of electronic triggers housed in books that were clipped to a metal ring suspended at center stage. The line between artist and fan blurred as both Sophie and Tucker wandered off-stage and into the crowd at various points during the show. Throughout the performance the energy level of both Sofi Tukker and the crowd never wavered. It was virtually impossible not to move, in fact at one point, the sweat soaked crowd was dancing soo wildly that the floor of the club was actually bouncing. By the time the duo closed out their set, the crowd was howling for more. No one wanted the party to end. Sofi Tukker delivered an evening of irresistible fun and their potential climb to wider mainstream success shows no signs of slowing down.
The party was ably started by LP Giobbi who was trained in music at UC Berkeley and has spent time producing and playing with the all-female LA-based synth band, LEX. Giobbi delivered an incredibly fun DJ set that set the pace for the evening. She even joined Sofi Tukker later in the evening, showcasing her brilliant smile and infectious dance moves.