(One Little Indian – May 13th, 2014)
Combining disparate elements of electronics (Þórður Kári Steinþórsson, aka 'Doddi'), clarinet (Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir) and Jófríður Ákadóttir's haunting voice, Iceland's Samaris mix glacial electronica with bold percussive beats, haunting chant-like vocals and lyrics culled from nineteenth century Icelandic poems. "You could say the words have been delicately sewn together and in a way they already have their song, their own melody when you read them," suggests Áslaug. The effect is simultaneously ancient and modern – an ethereal sound filled with dark spaces and alien atmosphere. The stunning new record, 'Silkidrangar' (meaning 'silk cliffs') is set to hit via One Little Indian on May 13th.
Within months of forming in 2011 in Reykjavik, Samaris had won both the Icelandic Músíktilraunir (past winners include the likes of Of Monsters and Men) and Kraumur Award. The groups' performance at Iceland Airwaves in 2012 further attracted attention from the likes of Line Of Best Fit, Drowned In Sound and One Little Indian amongst many others. The UK release last July of the groups' two Icelandic EPs as the eponymous Samaris sparked widespread interest with Dazed & Confused proffering a Einar Orn sponsored feature and glowing reviews appearing everywhere from the NME who called their sound "elegant and unusual" and The Fly raving that 'Samaris' is "effortlessly atmospheric."
Samaris quickly moved into the international scene playing European festivals like Sonar, Berlin Music Week, Electric Picnic and a sold out JaJaJa show in London and The Line Of Best Fit nominated them the No.1 act to see at Airwaves 2013 last year. Suddenly their original aspiration of "just wearing funny costumes and thinking maybe we could get a gig in a bar in Reykjavik" was the stuff of distant memory…