Hozier: The Poet of Our Generation

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It was 2013 when Hozier blessed our hearts with his profound and intense first single, “Take Me To Church.” Since then on, with the release of multiple singles and two albums, the artist kept leaving his mark in music.

The beginning of his music journey

Hozier
Picture by Christian Tierney

Andrew John Hozier-Byrne, famously known as Hozier, is a musician, singer, and songwriter. Hozier learnt to sing in his school choir, where he got his unmistakable strong and deep tone. He taught himself guitar. He was also admitted to Dublin’s Trinity College, but he decided to drop out to follow his music dream.

Born in Bray, Ireland, Hozier is the new music face of Ireland. With nothing to envy to his predecessors like U2, Cranberries and Sinéad O’Connor. Unlike these artists, however, Hozier proposes a music that points more towards folk, in which the main instrument is his acoustic guitar, that he plays with virtuosity and to create both rhythm and melody. Also his lyrics appears as quite different.

The poet of the XXI Century

Hozier’s works are characterized by refined but crude and even “obscure” lyrics. For this reason, he could be easily connected to the French symbolism of the late 19th-century. It is in fact easy to compare Hozier to a poet, considering the depth of his work.

A perfect example to represent his characteristic lyrical power comes from the song Angel Of Small Death & Codeine Dreams, extract of his first album Hozier.

I watch the work of my kin, bold and boyful
Toying somewhere between love and abuse
Calling to join them the wretched and joyful
Shaking the wings of their terrible youths

Freshly disowned in some frozen devotion
No more alone or myself could I be
Lurched like a stray to the arms that were open
No shortage of sordid, no protest from me

Through “Angel Of Small Death & Codeine Dreams” it is also possible to understand the elegance of the artist even when including “forbidden” topics. In fact, in French the translation of “small death” (“la petite mort”) is an analogy  coming from the end of the XIX Century used to describe the sensation of “brief unconsciousness” after an orgasm.

 

However, his words maintain a dreamy, powerful halo. A combination romance and classic aura characterises the vibes of the artist. For example, NFWMB is the song that perfectly describes how Hozier is able to create refined poetry by describing his love.

When I first saw you
The end was soon
To Bethlehem it slouched
And then it must’ve caught a good look at you
Give your heart and soul to charity
‘Cause the rest of you
The best of you
Honey, belongs to me […]
If I was born as a blackthorn tree
I’d wanna be felled by you
Held by you
Fuel the pyre of your enemies

References to mythology (like in the song Talk) are presents as well.

Hozier’s socio-political interest

The artist has shown multiple times how to use music to transmit an opinion. In fact, he wrote multiple pieces that reflects his points on view on social issues. Songs like Nina Cried Power, in which the verse “It’s not the wakin’, it’s the risin’” keeps resonating, and Take Me To Church itself are only two of the examples of this characteristic. In fact, the entire album Wastelands Baby represents an expression and critique over social and political issues. In both the singles the artist passionately expresses his support to minorities while narrating history and the legacy of communities. Strong, meaningful words involve the audience in the passionate song and meaning the artist wants to transmit.

 

 

The artist has also announced the release of a new album for 2022. According to Hozier, “Unreal Unearth” will release soon!

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