Humble, indie and Irish . . . that’s Hozier

Humble, indie and Irish . . . that's Hozier

Noemi Griffin

Call it the indie folk revival. Call it a gospel breakthrough. Irish singer-songwriter Andrew Hozier-Byrne, commonly known by his stage name Hozier, has become the object of my affection this fall with his bellowing soulful lyrics and folky blues guitar riffs.

Hozier has produced two EPs; “Take Me To Church” and “From Eden” and released his first full length album “Hozier”, on Oct. 7. His 2013 “Take Me To Church” EP earned him commercial success and huge controversy surrounding his video for the title track “Take Me to Church.”The video depicts a gay couple and a group of gay bashers in Russia, overlayed over lyrics like “I was born sick/ but I love it/ command me to be well.

In an interview with New York Magazine the singer said that “the song was always about sexuality and about organizations that would undermine humanity at its most natural”.

Hozier deftly moves from one controversial subject to the next with “To Be Alone”, which challenges society to produce an antidote for rape culture. Hozier handles storytelling and a range of emotions with ease in his self-titled album.

Hozier’s vocals are clearly the star in the album, pulling listeners into the song even when the arrangements themselves may seem a little flat.  By far my favorite song off his full length album, and arguably what makes the album truly special, is “Jackie and Wilson.”

In this song, the singer pays homage to the late R&B and Soul singer, Jackie Wilson. Where other artists may falter in their tribute to the famed artist, Hozier’s soulful intensity during its live performance represents Wilson well.

On Oct. 12, Hozier took the SNL stage to perform “Take Me To Church” and “Angle of Small Death and the Codeine Scene.” The singer proves his musical prowess after recovering from a microphone snafu that could have potentially ruined the entire performance.

While many SNL viewers probably had only a vague idea of who the Irishman was before the show, there is no doubt now that Hozier will be a household name for the coming months.


Hozier will be playing the Tabernacle on Friday, March 13th. To buy tickets, click here.

Listen to “Take Me to Church” here

Listen to “Work Song” here.

 

(Photo by Creative Commons)