Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, the duo behind Sofi Tukker, have been waiting for more than a year to release their song "Fantasy." So, when it came time to finally shoot the music video, the pair wanted it to be perfect—even though they envisioned it taking place on what Hawley-Weld described earlier this week as "a fantasy planet."
"We basically said, 'Can you find the most out-of-this-world place in this world?,'" Halpern recalled of their request to their video crew—a fantasy in and of itself, which, after five hours' worth of driving down winding roads outside of Mexico City last month, became a reality. Otherworldly as it may appear, the landscape in the video is actually "exactly what it looks like" amidst the waterfalls and rock formations in Tolantongo, a canyon in Mexico. (The sole exception being the planets in the backdrop.) Thanks to the natural hot springs' reaction to the early-morning cold, they didn't even have to get a fog machine.
This isn't the first time Sofi Tukker has gone all-out with its music videos, though none of the duo's ones have been as complicated as "Fantasy"—nor as physically challenging. Their decision to do their own stunts ended up putting Halpern in moral peril, though if he was ever upset about that, he's clearly over it. "I'm a method actor," he said with a laugh, brushing off Hawley-Weld's story about him yelling "Sophie! Save me!" when he got pulled into the heavier rapids.
Halpern is, as he put it, "really tall"—6'7"—so when the styling also turned out to be exactly how they'd imagined, he and Hawley-Weld were ecstatic. Looking to create a "old-school Indiana Jones mixed with futuristic Avatar" vibe, both wore harnesses. (Which, by the way, they picked out before the likes of Timothée Chalamet popularized the accessory.) Halpern's favorite piece, though, was a pair of custom-made neon green pants that not only actually fit, but were a bit baggy. "It’s not a great job to be our stylist," he said. "You get into it and you’re like 'Shit, I have to go find ridiculously colorful kids clothes for a giant person? What?'"
It's no wonder the duo has been focusing on their image as of late; a lot, after all, has changed for Hawley-Weld and Halpern since they first met at Brown University in 2014. There's also the fact that "Fantasy" is Sofi Tukker's first major release since their debut album, Treehouse, which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Album nearly a year ago, a year after their first Grammy nomination for the 2017 single "Drinkee." In other words, it marks a new era of Sofi Tukker, complete with a new sound.
The latter, which Halpern describes as "a little more epic," shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to their fans. Sofi Tukker has been tweaking "Fantasy" in front of their audiences in real-time for a year now—long enough for some of their fans to even already know all of the words. (Hawley-Weld will happily hug those who do, though much less happily share specifics about the lyrics, which are about how the elaborate narratives we create around people online almost always lead to disappointment IRL.)
If you couldn't tell by the video ending with an all-caps "to be continued," more of those sound and visuals are coming out soon. (They're planning to roll out the follow-up to "Fantasy," filmed in another "breathtaking" area of Mexico, within the next few months.) After that, the pair has another adventure planned, too: the wild, wild west of Coachella, which they're playing for the second time this April. Surprisingly, though, their approach to festival style is rather simple—at least comparatively.
"We talk about outfit changes a lot, but we kind of go nuts onstage, so we either can't wear nice things or can only wear them once," Halpern said. "We used to have these cool jackets that we'd put on during the show to change up the look. But then they ripped, because I was humping onstage too hard."