KEXP at Iceland Airwaves, Wednesday: Samaris

photo by Michael Matynka

The three young students who make up Samaris are barely of age, but have already won the Iceland Music Experiments (the country’s renowned battle of the bands competition). The youngsters draw their influences from the likes of James Blake, Fever Ray, Flying Lotus, and Massive Attack, building on experimental electronics, dubstep, trip-hop, and downtempo beats. Between the three members, the band’s prominent setup is vocals, computer programmer, and clarinet -- an unconventional but effective combination that has thoroughly impressed critics and fans since the band’s inception this past January.

During their moody yet beautiful set at the KEX Hostel during KEXP’s first international broadcast in Reykjavik during the 2011 Iceland Airwaves festival (more info here), the trio -- consisting of vocalist Jófríður Ákadóttir and clarinet player Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir, both dressed in black robes, and computer programmer Þórður Kári Steinþórsson -- captivated the crowd with a sort of Austra meets Bjork meets Zola Jesus kind of vibe. Jófríður Ákadóttir’s voice in particular was stunning. Check out the photos now, and look out for them in the not distant future playing on the radio. There’s no doubt they’ll find a lot more fans soon enough.

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