Samaris – Silkidrangar
CD 12T063 (12 Tónar, 2014)
2. Ég vildi fegin verða
3. Lífsins ólgusjór
5. Brennur stjarna
6. Máninn og bróðir hans
7. Þótt hann rigni
The new and fantastic album ‘Silkidrangar’ (meaning ‘silk cliffs’) is released by the 12 Tónar label on 28 May.
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.
Last years release of the groups’ two Icelandic EPs as the eponymous Samaris on the 12 Tónar label sparked widespread interest, with glowing reviews appearing everywhere in the Icelandic press and abroad, from the NME to the FT. Here in Iceland the album reached the No. 1 spot and sold incredibly well, as did the special Icelandic 2LP version, with pink and sea-green vinyls especially chosen by the band.
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.
In September last year, 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 of the New Year, as a part of the Sydney Festival, and their first shows together in four months. Following these dates down under, the trio played European shows in February, joining John Grant for UK shows in March, returning in May for a sold out London headline and two very successful Great Escape shows. Further European shows are scheduled for the summer
This is a must have album for all fans of Icelandic music.
The LP version will be released in the second half of June.
“Few things elicit such visceral reactions from us, but…we can’t help but be reduced to awestruck piles of glazed-eye gibbering.” 8.5/10 The Line of Best Fit
“Brilliantly, the lack of a common language doesn’t stop you getting swept up in the band’s strangely sensual world.” NME 7/10
“Silkidrangar transcends language and symbolism, casting a spell on the listener.” The Ground
“Time will tell whether we will look back on Silkidrangar as the band’s bold statement of intent - but for now, it’s a stunning record in its own right.” 8/10 Drowned In Sound
“[Samaris are]on the verge of something great.” Figure8