Retro Stefson – Retro StefsonCultureMusicAlbum reviews
The majority impression of the Icelandic music scene normally revolves around either Sigur Ros with their dreamy pop-rock sound, or the bizarre works of the now 47-year-old Bjork. But a new band has emerged which sounds nothing like either.
Retro Stefson are a septet from Reykjavik. They formed as a group of school friends in 2006 and have since released a couple of well-received albums. Their first, Montaña, was released exclusively in Iceland in 2008, but on this self-titled third album they aim for overseas with a UK release later this month.
The band is a breath of fresh air amid previous Icelandic imports: their unique blend consists of everything from rock to electro pop and funk. Recent single Qween mixes bouncy synths and funky bass lines with extremely infectious hooks and inventive lyrics. Miss Nobody follows suit, adding an impressive guitar riff to showcase the rock element of the band.
Although from Iceland, the band is heavily influenced by broader world music. They incorporate Latin and African beats into Glow and Miss Nobody, as well as clear Middle Eastern influences in (O) Kami.
As in the title and the band’s name, the album does have a retro feel to it, especially with its electronic beats and subtle synths. At times it sounds like something you would hear from a Gameboy game – most strikingly in Time. The main attraction of Retro Stefson is in the way the band dips and delves into different genres, and most of the time they actually do better than their established counterparts.
Retro Stefson have created an imaginative, genre defying album that even on repeated examination consistently brings something new.
Retro Stefson is released on 25th March 2013, but you can pre-order the album here.
Watch the video for Glow here