Remember when Sofi Tukker first emerged? There was something truly exciting about their no-fucks approach to electronic pop, blending form and language with the odd yelp to carve out their own world.
On their debut album, Treehouse, it’s clear that they still very much inhabit that exciting world… to an extent. Their brilliant Fuck They is the right way to kick off the album, a mission statement if ever we heard one. It sets up Energia nicely enough, a relentless machine-gun of, well, energy that’s impossible to refute. This is Sofi Tukker at their absolute best, scarpering through the wilderness and leaving a trail of fireworks behind.
It’s a surprise when they pull out a much slower Benadryl next; it almost feels like a sanding down of a band full of character, a song that doesn’t befit their stature. Similarly, Batshit completely undermines its own title – we expect an absolutely unpredictable burst of raucous character, but instead we get a mid-tempo repetition of the title word to very little effect.
Sofi Tukker are great; of that there is no doubt. But they need to truly embrace what makes them great in order to be memorable. Good Time Girl has its spoken-word verse saying “let’s play it safe, do what we know” and it begins to feel a little bit like that for them on this full-length; certainly, the weighted mid-section is a far cry from their best work.
Luckily they pull it back at the end with songs like Baby I’m A Queen and of course their smash hit Best Friend. There’s a lot to love in Sofi Tukker’s debut, but the overall flavour doesn’t feel quite as spicy as what we expected from them; rather than sit up in the Treehouse, we’d be much happier for them to come down and cause a bit of mayhem in the jungle.