Guðlaugur Jón Árnason’s somber, yet warmly introspective work as Bony Man is truly an extension of his upbringing. Growing in the oldest part of Reykjavik, Árnason was raised in the shadow of the Old Cemetery, a famously beautiful cemetery that’s remained in use since the 1800s.
Similarly, Árnason grew up in a large musical family that honored artists with a beautifully ornate, timeless feel. Coming of age to the sounds of Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen, he was practically destined to pick up his father’s personal favorite instrument, the nylon string guitar. Still, he pivoted from folkier sounds as a young adult, forming a band with his cousin that would later become notable Icelandic pop rock act Jeff Who? after he split.
Árnason’s aim as a solo artist was to create the kind of soul-searching album that defined his childhood, working meticulously over the past decade on a set of melancholic songs about different kinds of loss, exploring darker and more obscure realms as the songs wear on.
Check out the enchanting new single “Hole In The World” from Bony Man. With ease, Árnason vocally cuts to the heart, swimming in a world lush with restrained crescendos and warm low-end drive. “Hole In The World” builds from circular acoustic riffing into climactic indie-folk akin to Damien Rice and Glen Hansard.
“Our lives changed pretty dramatically when we had our first child and I think maybe the song is an ode to the life I had before: a life of drinking and partying every weekend. There is a build-up of sounds and instruments at the end of each verse, like a tidal wave and we decided to add the sound from an actual wave in there too, but just so that you can feel it rather than hear it,” says Árnason.