Label: Island Records and Rubyworks Records
Release Date: 19 September 2014
By: Joey Kurbanov
Hozier is the eponymous debut studio album from singer and songwriter, Hozier. The album holds some tracks from Hozier’s preceding two EPs, Take Me to Church and From Eden. The album flings Biblical metaphors at us, but with a sense of underlying irony.
Growing up on Muddy Waters, Billie Willie Johnson, Tom Waits, Pink Floyd, and Nina Simone, its clear that the Irish 24-year old singer-songwriter mixes the likes of the greats with great care. With these sounds, Hozier creates a howling polyphony of somber greatness. The sonic differences of rich Gospel choirs with distorted and sludgy guitars build up a chilling sound consistent throughout his debut.
While carefully flaunting his vocal prowess on “From Eden,” Hozier is heard “slithering” to a lover’s door, while on the spiritual hymn, “Work Song,” “No grave can hold” his “body down, he’ll “crawl home to her.”
Van Morrison was the Irishman who gave us African-American music with Celtic overtones and now Hozier delivers slinky R&B with dirty and bluesy grunge.
Hozier’s storytelling is very liquid, incorporating romantic realism and struggle rather than bubblegum heartbreak. The album becomes a soulful journey of seduction, spirituality, and grief.
Be wary, if our Irishman does not shy away from histrionic orchestral sweeps and choirs, we can only imagine what will come next…