Upcoming Irish artist, Hozier has taken the word by storm, but who is he really, and what is he all about? Sin’s Kristina Reynolds tell us more…
Over the last decade or so, small time Irish musicians have been popping out of nowhere and building a folk-like reputation for Irish music. We’ve had Damien Rice and his heart-breaking split with the lovely Lisa Hannigan, Glen Hansard with his award winning movie ‘Once’ and the famous ‘Falling Slowly’. There’s Cork’s very own Mick Flannery with his beautiful piece ‘Boston’, and Kodaline, who have won the hearts of many in the last year with their latest album In a Perfect World. But there’s a new guy on the scene that some of you may or may not already know – Hozier, Wicklow’s very own musical treasure!
Born in Co. Wicklow as Andrew Hozier Byrne, Hozier has been working his way up the musical ladder of success for years. He joined his first band when he was 15 years old, taught himself how to play the guitar and piano and found a style that suited his voice and soul. He studied music in Trinity College, Dublin where he was involved with the University Orchestra, subtly manipulating their style from classical to classic rock. However, with his heart set on writing and recording his own music, Hozier dropped out of University to continue this mission full time.
His first EP, Take me to Church, displays his unique style of what you may call “twenty-first century blues”, a genre that he has been adamant on finding for himself while everyone else wanted him to steer in another direction. He has worked with many different labels over the last few years, some of which he found to be more pop-orientated than he was comfortable with, before he set himself up at home and began to record his own music in his own way in order to find this musical identity.
His EP consists of four songs, ‘Take me to Church’, ‘Angel of Small Death’, ‘Cherry Wine’ and ‘Like Real People Do’. The leading track, however, ‘Take me to Church’ has gained him more attention in the last few months than anyone could have anticipated. The song is heavy; a dark style with dark lyrics, ‘I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife’, and has a heavy video to go with it. Portraying gay repression in Russia by following two gay lovers who are subjected to violence for their lifestyle, ‘Take me to Church’ has gained over 240,000 views since being uploaded in September. However, Hozier has said that not all of his songs are quite so bleak.
Now working with the record label, ‘Rubyworks’, Hozier has gained himself a lot of fans. Although his Dublin shows for the concert venue Pepper Canister in December are sold out, fear not Ireland, as there is still hope to see him live in both Cork and Galway. He’ll be playing on Saturday 21December at 8pm in The Pavillion, Cork and Sunday 22 December in the Róisín Dubh, Galway. Well worth a listen, lads. You’ll be raging if you miss out!