BY: AUSTIN MESZAROS
“Hozier” is the debut album from Irish folk artist Andrew Hozier-Byrne released on September 19th, 2014.
Debut album. First date. These two terms mesh so well, because at a certain point on a date you have to determine if there will be a second, and the same applies when listening to an artist for the first time. When I discover an artist, I try my best to begin with the first album and work my way through the discography. Rarely does an artists blow me away as much as Andrew Byrne-Hozier (known simply as Hozier) did in his first, and currently only, effort.
I first heard this album while on a plane destined for France. It was a long flight and this album was one of the only free listening options. The first song I listened to was “Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene”, and I remember listening to it multiple times in a row. I was absolutely in love with this song. The raw guitar and vocals during the intro indicate a blues-inspired musician full of passion. As I continued the album, I was treated to one of the most complete collection of songs I’ve ever heard. The union of blues and pop are evident on songs such as “From Eden” and “Take Me To Church”, the latter being the smash hit that put Hozier on the map. Fans of choral performances are treated to an uplifting chorus during “Someone New”, while the southern-rock inspired “Jackie and Wilson” is a sweet escape from monotony. Acoustic performances such as “In a Week” and “Cherry Wine” show Hozier’s softer side, all the while maintaining the tone of the album as a whole.
Apart from the inspiring sound of the songs, the masterful lyrics prove that Hozier is not your average musician. He tackles social issues with his lyrics, as seen in “Take Me To Church”, where he tackles the wave of homophobia within the church system. In “Foreigner’s God”, he expresses the need for religious tolerance. “Cherry Wine” is a call for awareness on domestic violence, lyrics proclaiming “Calls of guilty thrown at me / All while she stains / The sheets of some other.” There’s a story behind each song, and that’s what I love about this album. This is an album made to stand the test of time.
Favorite Song: From Eden
Least Favorite Song: Work Song