American dance duo Sofi Tukker follow up their 2018 Grammy-nominated debut ‘Treehouse’ with a six-track burst of forgettable but fun dance-pop. For three years, Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern have been expanding on their brand of infectious club-ready numbers. With ‘Dancing On The People’, they show no sign of stopping.
Across these six songs, Sofi Tukker make their case for instant satisfaction. Latest single ‘Swing’ is big by all means. With a huge fist-pumping chorus and thumping beat to match, it is a string-fuelled thumper. It is an all-in opener. The three minutes at offer is at once unpredictable and formulaic, but gives ideas worth investing in. ‘Swing’ nabs its lyrics from a poem by Brazilian poet Chacal and they are certainly enchanting. After a while however, the combination of cooed backing vocals and chopped strings grows tiring.
‘Ringless’ is another strong point in the EP. A body of water lurks throughout the song, giving way occasionally to allow the surprisingly thoughtful songwriting to shine. It is a sincere and substantive song, with a delicate build and a brilliant vocal performance. Frustratingly it alludes to a version of the band yet ventured, a duo willing to delve into something impactful.
Despite its brief run-time, Sofi Tukker grow tiring after a while. ‘Fantasy’ sounds like a song that would play over an aftermovie for a dance festival (which is probably what they were going for). At the core is a fairly moving chorus that could have done with a stronger vocal performance. It screams early 2010s, not that it matters to Sofi Tukker.
As for ‘Like This’, the group test your nerves. This is an outright annoying song. It is wholly redundant and a weak ending, especially sequenced directly after the soft inoffensive ‘Fantasy’. There is more than enough to push one over the edge here. Ad-libs of the lowest order are in abundance. After Sophie proclaims: “I’m far too reckless to have just one drink”, Tucker responds with a breathy monotonous, “True”. It is tough to digest.
The chorus finds the duo working out who can party (?) the best. This results in them having a conversation solely through the titular line. Unbearable and unimaginative. It is ‘Anything You Can Do’ for the simple-minded.
The occasional misstep aside, there is some fun to be had here which, of course, is all that matters for Sofi Tukker. ‘Purple Hat’ is a really cool number, with Tucker taking the lead with his robotic vocal over an infectious beat. The guitar lead pierces the edgy tone the song sets but once the song gets its groove, it is the most entertaining highlight on the EP.
Sofi Tukker are not bothered about emotionally complexity or depth at all. This is simply a punchy fix of inconsistent dance that will do more than enough to keep you entertained for an extra twenty minutes. This will not change you by any means, but for the time being you could do worse.
‘Dancing On The People’ by Sofi Tukker is out now via Ultra Records