From Iceland — Track By Track: Draumur Um Bronco By Jónfrí

Track By Track: Draumur Um Bronco By Jónfrí

Published April 18, 2024

Track By Track: Draumur Um Bronco By Jónfrí
Photo by
Supplied by Jónfrí

Jónfrí tackles national mundanity, mountains and maritime affection on Draumur um Bronco



Shifting between genres and moods faster than you can say “skammdegisþunglyndi,” Jónfrí’s songwriting knows no restraints. The latest Draumur um Bronco — out March 14 — features music inspired by reggae, funk, indie, and 80s synthpop, to name a few. Here, Jónfrí tackles the essentials of Icelandic phenomena. Whether that be frozen haddock, Akranes, or a mysterious affinity for 4×4 jeeps, the artist’s cultural perception is reminiscent of one Mr. Bubbi Morthens on a good day.


The album kicks off with “Febrúar,” written on a dark February morning when nothing seemed to be going right. A jolly guitar riff mixed with depressing lyrics. Poor me. Did anyone say skammdegisþunglyndi?


Upbeat Chic-inspired disco groove about a night out when everything feels right and you dance like never before. The story takes place in Spain, where Icelanders flock in search of the right stemning. This was the first track we released from the album and was lauded by both club DJs and radio hosts alike. Based on real-life events.

Draumur um Bronco

I sometimes daydream about having an old Ford Bronco. My father had one when I was a kid, and let me hang around the garage and help out restoring it. I have a lot of vintage amps and guitars. And film cameras. So I know that with vintage gear there’s hassle and maintenance. So I daydream.

Almost every town in Iceland has that special mountain they cherish and that is engraved deep in the town’s folklore.

Freðin ýsa

The song’s title translates to frozen haddock, which was the most mundane Icelandic thing I could think of at the time. It’s a reggae-infused jam with a healthy dash of self-loathing.


Skipaskagi is a nickname for Akranes, the place where I grew up. The town you see when you look over Faxaflói. The song is a love letter of sorts and an ode to the town’s mountain, Akrafjall. Almost every town in Iceland has that special mountain they cherish and that is engraved deep in the town’s folklore. I remember being mad at the present when I wrote it and wanting to travel back in time, so it has that nostalgic vibe going on.

Sumarið er silungur

This one started as a folk song on the acoustic guitar. I had been listening a lot to Simon & Garfunkel’s “April Come She Will” and probably drew some inspiration from there. The track is basically two verses that paint random-esque pictures of an Icelandic summer in the ’90s and a guitar solo. We love playing this one at gigs.


This one is an 80s-infused indie stomper. The kind of track you’d put on before driving into the sunset. In the studio, we imagined the soundscape being a clash of Kate Bush and Joy Division. Lush synths and a gritty rhythm section. I kept forgetting half the lyrics during band practice, so to save face I just played a guitar line instead — that ended up on the recording and kind of makes the song.


The last track on the album. “Rækjubátar” means shrimp boats and this dreamy ballad ponders the question, “What if we are all just shrimp boats, floating around the Atlantic Ocean trying our best to squeeze some happiness out of life?”

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Kiasmos Returns

Kiasmos Returns


Show Me More!