International Artist Of The Whenever #1: Samaris (IS)

Anyone who was lucky enough to be at last year’s Iceland Airwaves festival will surely have heard the buzz around Samaris – a unique trio making the kind of glacial electronica that could only have come from Iceland.



Comprised of vocalist Jófríður Ákadóttir (who is also one half of Pascal Pinon), clarinetist Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir, and electronic musican Þórður Kári Steinþórsson, Samaris make music that sounds a little like a meeting of minds between Björk and Fever Ray. Watch the video for the mesmerising ‘Góða Tungl’ below.

The band have recently begun to attract attention outside Iceland, with The 405 and The Line Of Best Fit among others picking up on their self-titled debut UK release on One Little Indian. Samaris is a compilation of two EPs that were previously only released in Iceland – Hljóma Þú and Stofnar Falla – and sets the words of 19th-century Icelandic poets against a backdrop of trip-hop/dub influenced electronica and haunting clarinet motifs, with Jófríður’s enchanting vocals completing the band’s otherworldly sound.

The band played their first UK show back in June in London, and after making festival appearances at Sonar, Electric Picnic and Berlin Music Week, they return for two dates in the UK next week. First up is a gig at Gorilla in Manchester on Tuesday 24th September, supporting the wonderful Jon Hopkins and Lone. Then on Thursday 26th September they play The Lexington in London along with Eye Emma Jedi from Norway and Satellite Stories from Finland.

A new album from Samaris is scheduled for release before the end of the year, but for now I would implore you to listen to their debut release – it really is an unconventional and incredible record that marks an extremely promising beginning for this young trio.

Samaris is out now on One Little Indian records. For more information about the band, check out their official website.


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Filed under International Artist Of The Whenever, Music

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