Samaris’ self titled debut album is released in the UK today off the back of some fantastic press over the last couple of weeks!
The Line of Best Fit gave the album 8/10 noting the record’s “wonderfully paranormal aesthetic.” TLOBF have also hosted an album stream and track by track, a Best Fit Mix by Samaris and listed the band in their ‘Ten Singers and Bands Leading the Female-Fronted Nordic Music Revolution’ feature.
The 405 ran a ‘Meets..’ feature and a gave the album 8.5/10 stating that “Samaris is superb. It’s fantastic. It’s amazing. It’s… really… really… there’s not even enough adjectives to describe it, that’s how good it is.”
In print Einar Örn from The Sugacubes introduced the band in Dazed & Confused, the NME gave the album 8/10 calling it “elegant and sensual” and The Fly gave it 4/5 recognising it as “an effortlessly atmospheric album”.
Combining disparate elements of electronics (Þórður Kári Steinþórsson), clarinet (Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir) and Jófríður Ákadóttir’s haunting voice, Samaris mix glacial electronica and bold, percussive beats with haunting chant-like vocals - the lyrics culled from nineteenth century Icelandic poems. Viltu Vitrast for example retells an Icelandic folk tale about villages who ask for help from a supernal being, but worry it will choose not to manifest its power on Earth. The effect is simultaneously ancient and modern - an ethereal sound filled with dark spaces and alien atmosphere.
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 band performed at Iceland Airwaves in 2011 and 2012, attracting the attention of Line Of Best Fit, Drowned In Sound and NPR amongst many others.