Release Date: Aug 6, 2013
Record label: One Little Indian
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Club/Dance
Beware: this debut album by a trio of teenagers from Reykjavik features “lyrics culled from 19th century Icelandic poems”. But somehow Samaris avoid pretentious pitfalls. ‘Samaris’ is, in fact, a cocooning electronic record that’s intelligent but never alienating. Singer Jófríður Ákadóttir breathes mystery into the songs, her wispy vocals the highlight of opener ‘Hljóma þú’ and ‘Góða Tungl’.
Certain people should love Samaris, a trio who somehow manage to bundle everything trendy on the bearded fringes of pop into their sound. The band are Nordic (from Iceland), precocious (still teenage), have an excellent taste in knitwear and are heavily indebted to acts like The xx and James Blake. To put a cherry on the hipster cake, they’re surely one of the only bands around to foreground so aggressively the use of a clarinet.
The clarinet’s never been a particularly hipster instrument. In fact, the search for even the most fleeting of clarinet-based contributions to popular music leads to an almost immediate dead end. There’s a handful of appearances to be found on a couple of The Beatles’ albums, admittedly – but after that its next big break (if you can call it that) is on The Style Council’s Come to Milton Keynes.