Retro Stefson began when most of the members were still in middle school, and, unlike most bands so young, managed to stay together long enough to burst onto the scene via 2006’s Iceland Airwaves festival. Now, five years later, the band is celebrating the release of their second album, Kimbabwe, following long and successful touring. The members’ youth contributes to their exuberant live shows, and the diversity of their geographic origins are the source of the band’s sometimes-schizophrenic genre associations. Somehow, Retro Stefson makes it work, through a unique combination of surf, latin, jazz, afropop and rock.
And as fun as their albums are, their live shows are even more insane. Audience participation, dance lessons and shouting your lungs out required. Though it’s difficult to fully capture the spirit of Retro Stefson’s live performance at the KEX Hostel during KEXP’s first international broadcast in Reykjavik during the 2011 Iceland Airwaves festival (more info here), these photos will hopefully give you some idea: