The latest Icelandic group to deliver their national brand of atmospheric sonics are Samaris, with the trio following the well established trail of haunting electronics, a la Sigur Ros, rather than the newer folky direction of Of Monsters And Men. The twist here is the prominent inclusion of clarinet alongside the electronica and Bjork-esque vocals. Still in their teens, this self titled debut album pulls together two EPs and some remixes that Samaris have previously only released in their homeland.
Frontwoman Jófríður Ákadóttir knows that singing exclusively in her native language is acceptable nowadays, so she does. The band develop a definite sound very quickly and the opening two tracks, ‘Hijom Pu’ and ‘Vittu Viltrast’, are suitably downbeat before debut single ‘Gooa Tungl’ floats in on its bass driven beat. ‘Stofnar Falla’ is understated and wonderful, and the two parts of ‘Solhvorf’ complement each other cleverly leading the build up to the dramatic ‘Kaelan Mikla’, the last original track. The four remixes included, you’d imagine, as filler yet are all drastically different from their original incarnations and each is excellent and a deserved inclusion. For a trio so young, this is an assured and impressive debut.