Photo by Elizabeth Miranda
SOFI TUKKER’s WET TENNIS era has begun! Following last month’s release of the “Original Sin” video and announcement that WET TENNIS, the anticipated follow up to their GRAMMY-nominated debut album Treehouse, will be released on April 29th, the group has revealed the cover art and tracklist and is sharing ”Forgive Me”, one of the albums meditations on resilience, radical self-acceptance, and joy. True to the global scope of SOFI TUKKER’s creativity, the single is a collaboration with Turkish producer Mahmut Orhan whose string arrangement on the song draws inspiration from traditional Turkish music.
SOFI TUKKER shares, “‘Forgive Me’ is about forgiving yourself for the worst thing you’ve ever done, and forgiving another for the harm they caused you, which is the ultimate surrender. It’s about loving someone so much that you will let them hate you if that’s what they need to do to move on, and hoping that one day, the person will come to forgiveness on their own.
We wrote this song with one of our favorite artists in the world, the legendary Mahmut Orhan, and were heavily influenced by Mahmut’s Turkish roots. His orchestration really heightens the drama and raw emotion of the song, and is evocative of longing. Even though it’s dramatic and emotional, it also makes you wanna dance and sway. It has a sexiness that Mahmut often has in his music, that we love.”
The “Forgive Me” video is one of SOFI TUKKER”s most ambitious and visually striking to date. Filmed on location at Evcik Beach and Kilyos Beach in Istanbul, it takes us from the confinement of a white box room to the country’s seaside cliffs in a speeding car. Choreographer Tanem Işık, a sixteen-year-old phenom from Istanbul, created the modern dance piece in the video where she plays Sophie’s double in a battle that depicts Sophie’s battle with negative impulses that get away from her. A group of modern road warriors in surreal gear, including Tucker and Mahmut, race to her side and cast a circle around her as she reconciles with her darker self. The cast wears emerging Turkish fashion designers from NEW GEN.
The group says of making the video, “We shot the music video together with Mahmut in Istanbul. It was the first international trip we took after Covid and our whole crew was so giddy to be traveling again. We laughed for 4 days straight. We have so many inside jokes from that time…. the camaraderie and fun on set were unparalleled. At the end of the trip, we were sharing a final dinner together with our crew and Mahmut’s crew, going around the table, explaining what the trip meant to us, and everyone shared such moving anecdotes… It was what life is all about. Creating art together with people you admire and love. Turning a difficult experience (what the song is about) into a beautiful experience (the creation of the music and visuals)… that alchemy makes life feel magical.
The video is about the journey of losing oneself and then ultimately coming home to oneself. Sophie starts off in what feels like a straight jacket, struggling against herself, and then the troubled part of herself gets let loose. She spends the rest of the video trying to find herself again and comes across Tucker and Mahmut who help her.”
The video’s director Hakan Can adds,” Like any other director, there are themes that I’m most interested in. From the first meeting for Forgive Me I was inspired by the idea of creating a highly personal piece of work, capturing Sofi’s initial intentions in writing the song centering around the theme of forgiveness. I came up with the concept of creating a clone of Sofi, symbolizing a darker side of her. After finding the central narrative, I was looking for ways to incorporate both Tukker and Mahmut Orhan into the story. This resulted in a journey of Sofi and her clone searching for a virtuous tribe led by Mahmut Orhan, and Tukker as a brash racing driver zipping around in dreamlike places.”
In February, the band released “Original Sin” to announce the album. The track is a mantra of being kind to yourself and rejecting imposed social mores. It’s a duet that parachutes you into the center of SOFI TUKKER’s world with a juggernaut rhythm and an instantly memorable hook. Like “Forgive Me”, it is a soundtrack to the journey towards self-liberation. The accompanying video is steeped in playful eroticism and introduces the joyful and seductive iconography of WET TENNIS. In true SOFI TUKKER fashion, they decamped to a tropical location radiating lush greens and sunlight and realized the video in Oahu, Hawaii with director Aerin Moreno and creative direction by Amber Park (Camila Cabello, Madison Beer). They wear custom WET TENNIS outfits designed by Johnny Wujek (Katy Perry, HBO’s Legendary) in the video’s very metaphorical and ecstatic tennis match.
Artists who command thousands of people to dance and celebrate in unison are ceremonial artists, sparking the fire for everyone to gather around and commune. When in person events became impossible, SOFI TUKKER’s livestreams were a daily ceremony. Sophie and Tucker were able to interact in real-time with their community, experimenting and getting feedback on ideas that would eventually become WET TENNIS, and in the process became the 2nd-most livestreamed artist of 2020 according to Pollstar Magazine. This is an album made for their fans but perhaps more significantly, with them. They recorded several songs during the past two years, many with a darker tone that reflected the challenges happening. SOFI TUKKER was very intentional in choosing the songs that made the album, making a conscious decision to have it embody a healing positivity, not a shortsighted positivity that doesn’t recognize the turmoil in the world but one that helps navigate them and effect positive change.
SOFI TUKKER has achieved gold and platinum records in every continent other than Antarctica and their global audience began to coalesce around the streams, eventually creating a community that dubbed itself the Freak Fam. Along with activities related to the group, Freak Fam has helped each other during this difficult time in both emotional and material ways. When many members of Freak Fam had their prom canceled and were missing the big moments in their lives, SOFI TUKKER held a virtual prom and encouraged everyone attending to wear their freakiest wares. More recently, the Freak Fam has taken the form of a bi-weekly SiriusXM radio show, Freak Fam Radio, on Diplo’s Revolution Channel 52 that airs every other Wednesday at 10 PM ET/ 7 PM PT.
WET TENNIS TRACKLIST:
“Summer In New York”
“Forgive Me” with Mahmut Orhan
“Sun Came Up” with John Summit
“Larry Bird” featuring Tuck’s Dad
“Hold” with BOII
“Mon Cheri” with Amadou & Mariam
“What A Wonderful World”
SOFI TUKKER LIVE:
North American Tour
Sat, May 21 – Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club (SOLD OUT)
Sun, May 22 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Mon, May 23 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Wed, May 25 – Brooklyn, NY @ Avant Gardner – The Brooklyn Mirage
Thu, May 26 – Boston, MA @ Roadrunner
Sat, May 28 – Quebec City, QC @ Imperial Bell
Mon, May 30 – Montreal, QC @ MTELUS
Wed, June 1 – Toronto, ON @ HISTORY
Thu, June 2 – Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre
Fri, June 3 – Chicago, IL @ Radius
Mon, June 6 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
Wed, June 8 – Denver, CO @ The Mission Ballroom
Thu, June 9 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
Sat, June 11 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater (SOLD OUT)
Sun, June 12 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
Tue, June 14 – Seattle, WA @ The Paramount Theatre
Thu, June 16 – Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre
Sat, June 18 – Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Exposition Hall
Mon, June 20 – San Diego, CA @ SOMA
SOFI TUKKER SOCIALS: