Three new songs bring Hozier back into spotlight


Sniper BruceDog, CC BY-SA 3.0

Hozier performing “Nobody” on the Wasteland Baby! tour at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Ana La Rosa Grillo, Staff Writer

When the name of the Irish singer/songwriter Hozier is brought up the first song that comes to mind would likely be “Take Me to Church” from his first album in 2013, or even possibly “Would That I” from his second most recent album. The common theme with these songs being that both gave Hozier some well deserved recognition in the mainstream media, which in my opinion is not nearly enough.

On March 17, he released three new songs in an EP, as a sample for the album to come. The main song being “Eat Your Young ” which is a political commentary on violence and poverty in Ireland and the way in which it unfairly affected the children. 

The song specifically talks about the lack of action to aid the children, and how if they are going to force children to suffer you might as well just eat them. However, this message is presented in a very cryptic way, and to fully understand the song one must analyze the lyrics and look into the literature he alludes to in the song (9 Circles of Hell, specifically gluttony, and possibly A Modest Proposal).  

This poetic writing style has been a constant in his career; and although it creates very beautiful lyrics, it also can create a lot of confusion. The message of a song can get very easily lost in translation, which defeats the purpose of writing the song in the first place.

The other two songs “All Things End” and “Through Me (The Flood)” are written in  a very similar manner as “Eat Your Young,” but are somewhat easier to understand. I assume that’s more based on the need for historical and literary context in “Eat Your Young,” which is not present in the other two songs. 

I found the upbeat nature of “Eat Your Young” a little strange at first given the seriousness of the lyrics. Its melody lures you in very easily, and the beginning of the song was even trending on TikTok weeks before it was actually released to the public. It gives the false notion that it’s a light song, while at the same time getting you to hear about a topic that no one wants to directly talk about, which is a pretty genius move if you ask me. 

In contrast “All Things End” has a gospel vibe to it, and even has a choir singing during part of the song. The general idea of the song is that there are times where losing someone feels like the end of the world, but the happiness you had with them could not last.

 Losing people and getting hurt is part of life, and not something we should avoid but embrace as a chance to learn and grow. We can’t expect things to always go our way, but our pain shouldn’t impair our ability to enjoy new experiences, despite them being temporary. These lyrics are much more direct than his other songs, but still very direct, which I prefer compared to his more cryptic lyrics. 

However, I didn’t like that such an intimate song was being sung by a choir at the end of the song. I don’t feel the gospel genre fit the lyrics. Iit feels more like I’m being lectured rather than comforted, like it did in the beginning of the song. It would have been better if Hozier had sung it alone all the way through, given the fact that the song seems very personal, but nevertheless it’s a good song. 

The third track, and arguably the best one on the EP, “Through Me” is a good mix of “Eat Your Young” and “All Things End,” as it is about a heavier topic but also a very personal one. This song speaks about the struggle of just existing, when everything seems to be against you. 

It used two metaphors, one of a man unable to safely go through a storm, and the other of the inability to measure things like silence or footsteps. These metaphors are Hozier communicating the feeling of overwhelming loss, and how it seems impossible to survive the world alone. 

This implies that the pain of losing someone important to him is something borderline inconceivable, and that he will be unable to survive in this cruel world without them. There is a lot of emotion in his voice as he sings, which really allows the reader to feel how defeated he feels. There is no coming back from what he has lost, and the loss in of itself was pointless. 

This is the exact opposite of what he says in “All Things End,” which has a much more optimistic tone. I appreciate the duality that he has to both write about how loss is both necessary and overwhelming. I think he portrays both perspectives in a very different way than most other artists and it really lets the reader see into his mind. 

Ultimately, all three songs were very well written and produced and I really enjoyed listening to them. I recommend that you listen to this EP, and even look into his other songs. Hozier’s music is very powerful, and I have high expectations for his upcoming album.