Hozier returns with his third studio album, Unreal Unearth. The sixteen track album was released on August 18, containing a handful of singles and even a collaboration with Brandi Carlile.
After four years, we received our first taste of the album back in March with the release of the EP, Eat Your Young. “Eat Your Young” is thematically similar to Hozier’s hit debut-single, “Take Me To Church;” both of which contain hints of religious imagery. Feeling inspired after reading Dante’s Inferno, the singer spent most of his free time during the pandemic penning the new album. In an interview with Rolling Stone UK, Hozier explains, “The album can be taken as a collection of songs, but also as a little bit of a journey. It starts with a descent and I’ve arranged the songs according to their themes into nine circles, just playfully reflecting Dante’s nine circles and then an ascent at the end.”
Overall, the album explores a variety of styles, ranging from rock (“Francesca”) to piano ballad (“Butchered Tongue”) to instrumental (“Son of Nyx”) to folk (“Anything But”). Lyrically, we are reminded of Hozier’s poetic songwriting and his ability to move the listener to tears; especially with lyrics like, “Do you know I could break beneath the weight / Of the goodness, love, I still carry for you,” and “If there was anyone to ever get through this life / With their heart still intact, they didn’t do it right.” Hozier has a way of putting a modern twist on classic literature while still upholding key themes and it’s apparent with the release of Unreal Unearth.
You can catch Hozier on his Unreal Unearth Tour later this year, with dates across the United States!