ICELANDIC TRIO SAMARIS RELEASE THEIR FULL DEBUT ALBUM – A FOLLOW-UP TO LAST YEAR’S COLLECTION OF EP TRACKS – THROUGH ONE LITTLE INDIAN ON 5TH MAY.
The mesmerising Samaris effect is much in evidence throughout SILKIDRANGAR, as 19th-century Icelandic poetry, unearthly vocals, eery clarinet and sparse electronica wind their ways through one another to create what often feels like a mysterious new music – textured, elegant, organic, alien, glacial, bleak and beautiful. Sense of space is important. Þórður Kári Steinþórsson’s deep beat and bubbling synth in opener NÓTT – beginning as if a (very) chilled-outtake from VIOLATOR-era Depeche Mode – are vast lands over which sad Middle-Eastern melody drifts and vocals soar and echo. ÉG FILDI FEGIN VERDA – Jófríður Ákadóttir’s trancelike voice multi-tracked to stirring effect – gives way to LÍFSINS ÓLGUSJÓR, where a lonely city melodica – though it could be Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir’s clarinet wired through sci-fi machinery – drifts somewhere over there.
The trance glitches of BRENUR STJARNA and warm beats of hip-hop influenced TÍBRÁ will find favour with lovers of Björk’s earliest solo remixes. Melancholy multi-layered clarinet and vocals rise from two minutes of landscaping in VÖGGULJÓÐ, providing SILKIDRANGAR with a stately conclusion of gentle – ancient sounding – heart. Highly recommended.
Samaris play the Unitarian Church in Brighton on 8th May (tickets here) and Birthdays in London on 13th (tickets here). Check out our interview with vocalist Jófríður, published shortly before release of the EP compilation in July 2013, here.