'Elegant and unusual' NME 8/10
'A wonderfully paranormal aesthetic' The Line of Best Fit
'Effortlessly atmospheric' The Fly 4/5
'An excellent forward thinking record' Loud&Quiet
'Rich and textured' Financial Times
'Phenomenal...a rhythmic tour de force' Bearded
'Mesmerizingly breathy groove' Metro
Combining disparate elements of electronics (Þórður Kári Steinþórsson, aka 'Doddi'), clarinet (Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir) and Jófríður Ákadóttir's enchanting voice, Samaris mix glacial electronica and bold, percussive beats with haunting chant-like vocals - the 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 overall effect is simultaneously ancient and modern - an ethereal sound filled with dark spaces and alien atmosphere.
The new album 'Silkidrangar' (meaning 'silk cliffs') is released by One Little Indian on May 5th. Following UK and Irish dates with John Grant in March, the band have announced a series of festival shows and UK dates in May including a Great Escape appearance on 8th May and a headline London date at Birthdays on the 13th May (see above).
The UK release last July of the groups' two Icelandic EPs as the eponymous Samaris sparked widespread interest, Dazed & Confused proffering an Einar Orn sponsored feature while glowing reviews appeared everywhere from the NME to the FT.
All of a sudden, the original aspiration of "just wearing funny costumes and thinking maybe we could get a gig in a bar in Reykjavik" was a distant memory as Samaris moved into the international scene playing European festivals like Sonar, Berlin Music Week, Electric Picnic and a sold out JaJaJa show in London. The Line Of Best Fit nominated them the No.1 act to see at Airwaves 2013 Watch Samaris performing new song "Hafið" in session for the site here
In September, following a show supporting Jon Hopkins in Manchester the band effectively went on hiatus when clarinettist Áslaug departed on a long planned round-the-world trip, the three regrouping in Australia in the New Year to perform at the Spiegeltent on the 16th & 17th January, part of the Sydney Festival, and their first shows together in four months. Following these dates down under, the trio play European shows in February & March before returning to tour the UK in May.
Formed in 2011 in Reykjavik, within months 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, attracted the attention of Line Of Best Fit, Drowned In Sound and One Little Indian amongst many others. Singer Jófríður also performs with her sister Ásthildur in the more folk-inclined Pascal Pinion.
Forthcoming Live Dates
The Great Escape @Unitarian Church, Brighton 8th May
Birthdays, London 13th May
Roskilde, Denmark 29th June-6th July
All Tomorrow's Parties Iceland 10th-12th July
Longitude, Marlay Park, Ireland 18th-20th July
Green Man, Glanusk, August 14th-17th August
Airwaves, Reykjavík 5th-9th November