Hozier Goes in an Unexpected Direction on ‘Unreal Unearth’ (Review)

Since Irish folk singer Hozier’s most streamed song ‘Take Me to Church‘ was released in 2013, the singer hasn’t looked back. Following this, he has released banger after banger, including ‘Someone New‘, ‘Nina Cried Power,’ and most recently ‘Eat Your Young‘. Traditionally, in the decade we have known Andrew Hozier-Byrne (a.k.a. Hozier), we have only known him to sing indie-folk music. After he rose to online fame following ‘Take Me to Church‘ and his self-titled debut LP, he released ‘Wasteland, Baby!‘ and four years later – he released his new album ‘Unreal Unearth‘. This project follows the release of the ‘Eat Your Young‘ EP.

This sixteen-song album is inspired by Dante’s Inferno and the Nine Circles of Hell. It’s pretty much Ethel Cain core. Hozier as an artist and what his music represents changes on ‘Unreal Unearth‘. What we assumed was an LP bursting with indie folk tracks – Hozier shows his versatile range, bringing synth-pop, soft piano, and indie rock to the table. Alongside his versatile music styles, he reverts to an almost high-low structure. Some songs are very minimal and soft such as ‘To Someone From A Warm Climate (Uiscefhuaraithe)’, and the 3-minute interludes leading up to ‘Son of Nyx‘. However, despite the music change, it remains quintessentially him, which we love.

Another banger seen as a highlight of the album is ‘First Light‘. Here, we have more of an energetic song that soars, creating an amazing close to a phenomenal release. Hozier delivers his poetic magnetism throughout this LP, especially on ‘First Time‘. We hear this through the words, “Infinitely suffering, but fighting off like all creation/The absence of itself,”. This also implies his humour as he follows up later on with “anyway”, showing his unserious humour despite his beautiful and sought-out lyrics. Another indicator of his humour was during his comparison of a shopping trolley to a mayfly. The indie folk sound is here alongside hints of softer piano, R’n’B, and gospel. This versatility as a musician should not go unnoticed here.

Hozier’s long journey to hell and back, despite it not sounding like that to the listener, is captured throughout this story. This is mainly the case in songs such as ‘De Selby (Part 2)‘ and ‘Butchered Tongue‘. We are excited to see where he goes next as it’s only going on up for Hozier, especially after this LP topped the U.K. Album charts.

Hozier is on Instagram, X, and TikTok. Find more album reviews here and listen to the LP below.

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