Ireland have given us many great things – Guinness, leprechauns, Bob Geldof – but it seems none are as great as singer-songwriter Andrew Hozier-Byrne (sorry Bob), known to you and I simply as Hozier, whose recent offering really packs a punch.
Recorded in his attic, the four-track ‘From Eden’ is a delightful mixture of catchy pop and sensual deep country blues, infused with a healthy helping of gospel – but Hozier’s raw, soulful vocals are what really sell it. Riddled with religious metaphors, poppy title track ‘From Eden’ has already been hailed one of Zane Lowe’s ‘Hottest Records in the World’ and rightly so; as the opening vocals, “babe, there’s something tragic about you, something so magic about you, don’t you agree?” are enough to hook you in and eager to get to know this truly talented, sentimental character.
As a whole, ‘From Eden’ is an example of top-notch songwriting – from the slower romantic, gospel-fuelled ‘Work Song’ with its rich, sensual lyrics to the angsty, ominous beat-laden ‘Arsonist’s Lullaby,’ Hozier’s passion for his craft and pastoral influences shine through.
It’s easy to get lost in Hozier’s world, but closing live track ‘To Be Alone’ makes it even easier. With a single bluegrass guitar and that unique voice, its simplicity is mesmerising. It’s not hard to picture yourself in a dimly-lit, whiskey-soaked attic witnessing a truly special artist come into his own. Ireland have done it again, there must be something in the water…
Listen to Hozier’s ‘From Eden’ live session here: