Hozier: Artist to Watch

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Hozier released his self-titled debut album this Tuesday after months of US touring and multiple EP releases.  I was lucky enough to see Hozier live at Sweetlife Festival this May and I have been addicted ever since.  His style is eclectic, very mellow and acoustic, yet soulful and strong. A native of Ireland, Hozier—born Andrew Hozier-Byrne—has a sincerity about his music that is undeniable.  I was unsure of how this would translate on a studio album in comparison to a live set, but I was not disappointed.  Hozier is one of my favorite new albums and Hozier is definitely an artist to watch. “Take Me to Church”, Hozier’s first single, has gotten a lot of attention for the raw honesty of its lyrics.  I heard this song described on the radio this summer as “a twisted love song”, which seems to be a great description of this paradox of emotion. It’s irreverent and witty with references to worship and heaven alongside darker images of funerals and death.  This is one of the most lyrically rich songs that I have ever heard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR8b-3FqQqE

My favorite track on Hozier is by far “From Eden”, a classic ode to wanting someone you can’t have. It’s once again a beautiful love song with a darker side. “There’s something tragic about you, something so magic about you…” says it all.  This song is a change from “Take Me to Church” with a more upbeat feel carried by drums and electric guitar.  The style is relatively bluesy and shows a versatility beyond gentle acoustic tones.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmWbBUxSNUU

“Cherry Wine” is featured as a live track on the album and brings back the soft sounds of acoustic guitar. The sentiment is much lighter yet still cannot be free of the hauntingly painful vibe of previous tracks.  I appreciated the song even more after I realized it was included on the soundtrack for Zach Braff’s latest movie, “Wish I Was Here”.  A song hand-selected by the mind behind the absolutely classic “Garden State” soundtrack definitely has something special to offer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtRIz7VocNs

Hozier is a deeply intense glimpse into the world of a brilliantly talented songwriter and musician.  Strong yet subtle, Hozier’s lyrics are definitely worth experiencing for yourself.  Hozier is the album you should be listening to this fall.