Emmanuel Elone: Icelandic electronic outfit Samaris have a great new single on their hands. With some tastefully layered electronic effects and crystal clear percussion, “Wanted 2 Say” is fairly delicate instrumentally. However, this changes in the second half of the song, where some sharper electronic tones punch through the soft synths and make the track shine even more. Vocally, Samaris is on top of their game as well, with some light female vocals that steal the show as they float over the electronic instrumentation in the background. Overall, “Wanted 2 Say” is a great single, and one that anyone who enjoys electronic music will love. [8/10]
Chris Ingalls: Iceland’s Samaris are proving to be a worthy addition to their country’s roster of artists (Björk, Sigur Rós, Of Monsters and Men) with this moody number, which seems heartfelt and emotional while keeping the synths and overall instrumentation modern. The dancey beat is a bit of a throwaway, but it’s a well-written song that sounds fresh and has a lot of warmth and depth. [7/10]
Pryor Stroud: Atmospherically dense and sonically detailed like the best Samaris tracks, “Wanted 2 Say” is a bone-chilling electro-pop light show that enshrouds Jófríður Ákadóttir’s lead vocal in a sequence of intertwining synth passages. “But I wanted to / But I wanted to”, she sings, cutting her sentence short and leaving the instrumentation to do the “saying” for her. Yet this instrumentation also holds its tongue: a collage of tidewater atmospherics and pointillist electro-blips seems to speak volumes, but it doesn’t reveal any of Ákadóttir’s secrets either, instead only giving another sonic form to the regrets she confesses in the lyric. [8/10]
Jordan Blum: The video reminds me a bit of a sci-fi or horror film involving possession and “the other”, like The Exorcist meets Let the Right One In. It also conveys the isolation and sorrow of the music very well. The beats mix with the echoey female vocals in a striking way, evoking fellow Icelandic group Sigur Rós, as well as a bit of Aphex Twin and Sade. It’s a very arresting experience overall. [8/10]
Chad Miller: The background music was really cool. It did a lot for the whole mystical-pop atmosphere. Musically, the “What is the point of making it right” section was decent, but the song really blooms closer to the end where the atmosphere becomes more prominent, contrasting nicely with the arpeggiated synth notes. [7/10]
Steve Horowitz: Hey Samaris, what is it you wanted to say? Despite Jófríður’s breathy English language vocal, the lyrics are unclear. The vibe may be ethereal, even spectral, but the isolation leaves one more lonely than reflective. The quiet nature of the track saves it from irrelevance. This is the sound of not knowing what one wanted to say, and who among us is not confused about all of life’s choices? [6/10]
Samaris’ new album, Black Lights, releases 10 June.