Founded in 2006 by brothers Unnsteinn and Logi Stefánsson, Icelandic band Retro Stefson has since grown into a seven-piece force to be reckoned with.
Now they’re preparing to release their eponymously-titled debut UK album on 25 Mar via their own label Les Freres Stefson. Their third album overall, ‘Retro Stefson’ sees their sound really reach maturity, mixing an eclectic range of influences from rock to house amazingly successfully. The same day they release the album, the band will be in London to show exactly why they have such an excellent reputation as a live band, with a live show at The Lexington in London.
Ahead of the album release, we asked Unnsteinn Stefánsson to put together a playlist for us. Of his choices he said, simply: “These are just the songs I listen to at home. Living room songs…”
01 XXYYXX – About You
This guy is very young. And this song is very good. I haven’t really worked out yet when is the best time to put this song on: whether it’s when you’re chilling with your friends, DJing in the club or having a romantic night with your girlfriend.
02 Jeremih – Rosa Acosta
A very sexy song. I guess you’d have to be more into American popular culture to get all the references in the song, but the word play in the first verse is cool, and that sells it to me right from the beginning. That particular word play spans two languages and three meanings.
03 Objekt – CLK Recovery
I love the sense of space in this song, and the sound of the ambience. But it still hits you hard. And even though you recognise certain drum sounds, they are put to great use in the programming here.
04 Albert Hammond – The Peacemaker
One word: Positive!
05 Kendrick Lamar – The Art Of Peer Pressure
The vocal production on this record is crazy. Very brave. I like being told a story, as in this song, especially if you can follow it like your reading a good crime novel.
06 Kanye West & R Kelly – To The World
A great song and great production, of course, but what really makes me look forward to listening to this every time is when Kanye says “motherfucker” at 01.05. It seems so unnecessary but just so right at the same time. Perfect.
07 Double – Woman Of The World (Todd Terje Tangoterje Edit)
I heard the original version of this just recently. But the Todd Terje edit is particularly good, and it gives you a better chance to bring this song to the dancefloor.
08 The Sugarcubes – Hit
Björk’s band. Cinematic strings and 90s drums. And great vocals to top everything. Then when she starts singing in Icelandic, it gets magical.
09 Destiny’s Child – Independent Women Part 1
Feminist R&B, to ease your conscience after a day of listening to gangster rap.
10 Laura Mvula – She
This is simply a great composition. It sounds mature but also very real. It’s probably the newest song on my list. And she’s my age!