Andrew Hozier-Byrne, better known as Hozier, is an Irish singer-songwriter from Bray and he just released an incredible self-titled, debut album. Hozier-Byrne is a Trinity College music graduate and was a member of the Irish choral group Anúna before going solo. This indie-rock newbie has put together an instant classic with Hozier, a soul and blues infused, indie-rock masterpiece. Here’s why you should listen to it:
1.) A new voice. Hozier’s choral training can’t be missed throughout this soulful album. More importantly, he adds a new voice to the indie-rock scene, a market that has become oversaturated with rustic, run-of-the-mill mediocrity. At the same time, the balance between the blues and soul on this album is almost perfect, with Hozier offering a crisp and clear voice on blues medleys such as “To Be Alone” and “It Will Come Back” that rival that of Jeff Buckley. The Irish musician has already sold out many stops on his European tour, which extends until the end of January 2015; but, Americans can look for this new voice to land in their local concert hall early next February when he embarks on a 28-city American tour.
2.) Lyrical uniqueness. Not many other albums have a better opening line than: “My lover’s got humour/She’s the giggle at a funeral.” Hozier offers a fresh, poetic mind full of vibrant yet morbid allusions and sexually charged yet subdued angst. This opening line comes from the chart topping “Take Me to Church,” a cheeky rock medley alluding to two lovers’ “worship in the bedroom” as the best form of a spiritual cleansing. Other lyrical highlights include “In a Week,” a beautiful yet morbid duet with Karen Cowley detailing the decomposition of two lovers who will “feed well the land” but will “be home” together “in a week.” Lastly, the straightforward love tale of “Like Real People Do” pits an anxious lover requesting: “Honey just put your sweet lips on my lips/We should just kiss like real people do.” Hozier’s lively yet macabre approach to lyrics entices the listener to deconstruct each love song line by line.
3.) Melodic sensuality. A new voice with unique lyrics blends perfectly with the musical composition on this album. The track list offers a new sound with every song, sprinkling in blues ballads right after hard-hitting rock medleys and soulful play-tunes alongside indie-rock basics. The upbeat foot tapper “Sedated” follows the macabre “In A Week;” whereas, the soulful, piano-driven “Foreigner’s God” follows the slide-guitar blues ballad “It Will Come Back.”
Just released in the U.S. on October 14, this instant classic from the indie world already has heads turning and is assured a long tour-run globally. Look for Hozier in the U.S. early next spring as well as during the music festival circuit next summer.
Hozier feat. Alana Henderson – “In A Week” Live @ Lollapalooza 2014: