KEXP at Iceland Airwaves 2013, Day 3: Moses Hightower

Photos by Morgen Schuler (view set)

The penultimate act of the KEXP broadcast live from KEX Hostel at Iceland Airwaves was Icelandic yacht rock band Moses Hightower. Named for the character played by the late Bubba Smith in the Police Academy movie series, the band draws from a lot of influences, including funk, jazz, and psych.

The bar KEX Hostel was at capacity, and the eager crowd erupted when the band started. Their first song, “Stutt skref,” was super mellow, and had a bit of a reggae tint to it. Next was “Háa c,” which means “high sea,” a song falling somewhere between jazz, R&B and yacht rock. The backing vocals were erring toward 70’s funk, with fast, high, harmonic singing.

“Tíu dropar” was, as the band described it, “all about [their] love for coffee.” If so, the soulful R&B style and mellow, jazzy interludes may indicate that they really want to get freaky with some coffee.  “Inn um gluggann” was a little more dreamy in the beginning, then added classic 70’s backing vocals.

The next song, “Góður í” was a little more loungey, with sparse, mellow instrumentation that really showcased frontman Andri Ólafsson’s lovely, clear voice. Moses Hightower ended the set with “Sjáum hvað setur,” a more uptempo, funky number that really got some toes tappin’ and hips swayin’.

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