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Friday, April 12, 2024
The Observer

Hozier is back with a birthday surprise

Image sources: Rolling Stone

Andrew Hozier-Byrne, the legendary musician known for being tall, Irish and incredibly poetic, is back with new music on Mar. 17 — St. Patrick’s Day and, coincidentally, his 33rd birthday. 

Hozier rose to fame with his single, “Take Me to Church,” arguably one of the most influential songs of the 2010s. His first LP, titled “Hozier,” was released in 2014, followed by “Wasteland, Baby!” in 2019. While the span of time between new music announcements has decreased, I know many Hozier fans (myself included) are impatient. 

Next Friday, Hozier will release a three-track EP titled “Eat Your Young.” It will include an eponymous track, one heavily alluded to in his social media called “All Things End” and another called “Through Me (The Flood).” From the titles of these tracks, there is potential for a great shift in subject matter from his single “Swan Upon Leda,” released on Oct. 7, 2022. However, any dedicated fan of the man is well-aware of this thematic messaging and imagery, as he is known for his vivid descriptions of anything from the end of the world to the exhumation of a bog body. 

While his LPs in the past have been regularly preceded by EPs that feature upcoming LP tracks, what does this particular release mean for future music? What are people theorizing about the music’s thematic and symbolic elements? When will I ever meet Hozier at a pub in Ireland under mysterious but fateful circumstances? Only some of these questions can be answered. 

The singer’s interactions on social media have confirmed that “Eat Your Young” will, in fact, be succeeded by a new full-length album later this year. The record will be called “Unreal Unearth,” as revealed by Hozier on Twitter in September. 

A recent newsletter from the artist described the album as “the journey of the last few strange years in a loose and playful path of nine circles,” leading many to believe that it will be heavily inspired by Dante Alighieri’s “Inferno” poem from the epic “Divine Comedy.” While it is likely he will not mention the poem in specifics, one could also speculate that references to the COVID-19 pandemic will be present.

Many fans are questioning whether or not “Eat Your Young” will be a continuation of the eponymous track from “Wasteland, Baby!”. There seems to be a connection between the lyrics of the song and the cover of the new EP. “That the cloud and the cold and those jeans you have on” matches up with the image, as it shows a woman buried in the ground wearing jeans. There also seems to be an allusion to the link between “Wasteland, Baby!” and “Eat Your Young” with the line “Not an end, but the start of all things that are left to do.”

An extensive thread on Twitter about the EP notes the various objects also included in the cover, which is highly impressive, considering how dark the cover is and how small the objects are. There is also discussion about the track “Through Me (The Flood)” in relation to the French expression, apres moi, le deluge (after me, the flood), signaling themes of nihilism, death, the apocalypse and more. While we generally don’t know the sound of the EP other than the “Swan Upon Leda” single and a short clip from the Irish concert promotion company, MCD Productions’ Twitter, it’s safe to say fans are ready for new music. He’s already set to appear at a few music festivals in the United States (Shaky Knees in Atlanta and Moon River in Chattanooga, Tennessee) as well as a few solo dates, though many are eager for tour announcements.

Whatever happens, I hope that “Eat Your Young” will keep hungry Hozier fans satisfied.