February 4 2014
Here at RadioMilwaukee, we loves us some Icelandic music. While it may be the merest of overstatements to say we play the most Icelandic music around, it also may well be wholly the truth. Who else has artists like Bjork and Asgeir on their regular playlist? Even if you answered that, you have to call Sound Travels the wild card, as you never know what I'm going to play and today I found another Icelander to move to the mix: Samaris.
Samaris is in some ways a band that is the sonic link between the folksy, singer-songwriting beuty of Asgeir and the electro pop avant-gardism of Bjork. Their sound is as stark as a cold Scandinavian sky, forlornly evocative of deep spiritual places in a world increasingly modern. This young band (all members are still in their teens btw), features the unusual combination of clarinet, electronics and the crystalline voice of lead singer Jófríður Ákadóttir. Ákadóttir's haunting nocturnes combine with downtempo electronica and bold, percussive beats for a sound simultaneously old and new. Underscoring this is that the lyrics are actually quite vintage as well, Ákadóttir has culled lyrics from nineteenth century Icelandic poems. The result is quite haunting, both ancient and modern.
Samaris' only album, their self-titled debut, came out in 2007 however it has only recently been released stateside this past year on One Little Indian Records. If you are a fan of Bjork or Asgeir, I'd definitely recommend that you get this digger's delight.