Hozier

After his hit single ‘Take Me to Church’ released in October 2013, singer-songwriter Andrew Hozier-Byrne acquired an international following. It was an impressive debut, feeding off the power of its social message that attacked the Church and intolerance towards homosexuality, employing the use of Christopher Hitchens’ fierce dictum, ‘Born sick, but commanded to be well’. However, it has since become clear that the Irishman will be remembered as far more than a one-hit-wonder renowned for a refreshing burst of social commentary in popular culture. His recent E.P. ‘From Eden’ demonstrates a continued dedication to inventive and thought-provoking lyrics, matched by his intoxicating vocals and unmistakable talent for melody. Hozier won’t be disappearing any time soon…

Citing Nina Simone and Billy Holiday as his foundational influences, it is ultimately a gospel-infused modern blues sound that comes through most in this more recent work. As a whole the E.P. is also enduringly dark in spite of the smooth, feel-good opening track ‘From Eden’. Ominous and absorbing, ‘Work Song’ and ‘Arsonist’s Lullabye’ seem like far better indicators as to which direction we might expect Hozier to pursue in the future.

Equally impressive live, we can now look forward to the development of an artist whose established status should provide real freedom to experiment and explore.