The Icelandic band Brek, formed in 2018, blends elements of American bluegrass, jazz and Icelandic folk. Formed by singer and pianist Harpa Þorvaldsdóttir, guitarist and singer Jóhann Ingi Benediktsson, mandolinist Guðmundur Atli Pétursson and upright bassist Sigmar Þór Matthíasson, Brek won the Icelandic Music Award for Folk Album of the Year in 2022. While many Icelandic bands attempt to reach a larger audience by singing in English, Brek prefers to focus on the unique qualities of the Icelandic language, which is virtually unchanged from the days of the Vikings over 1000 years ago.
On “Hálftómt Glas” (Half Empty Glass) Brek uses a classic metaphor to expound on the eternal theme of perception and the importance of having a positive attitude. “One thing today, tomorrow something completely different / But a glass half empty is half full if you think about it.”