REVIEW: Hozier taps further into American blues with new EP

Hozier ties in Irish heritage with American blues with his new EP “Eat Your Young” which uses Dante’s circles of hell as commentary on modern-day issues. 


The EP was released on March 17, which is St. Patrick's Day as well as Hozier’s birthday, and features three new songs: “Eat Your Young,” “All Things End” and “Through Me (The Flood).” 


Along with the release, Hozier announced more songs to come until late summer when his album “Unreal Unearth” will be released in full. 


According to the artist, the new album is inspired by the circles of hell from the epic poem “Divine Comedy.”


I’ve been a fan of Hoizer since the release of his first album and I think it’s very important to realize that he has always been a political artist. Songs like “Swan Upon Leda”  focuses on women losing reproductive rights worldwide and “Cherry Wine” reflects domestic abuse. That has not changed with this EP. 


For the first song on the EP, although he has not confirmed it, I believe that Hozier pulled inspiration from Jonathon Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.” Swift’s essay is a popular satirical piece about how poor Irishman might improve their lives. Swift called for Irishmen to sell their children to rich people to be eaten as a way to reduce the population and improve the financial standings of the rest. 


This first song is based on the third circle of hell: gluttony. The song talks about fine things, like the feast they are about to have, coming at the cost of children.


I think this is my favorite song on the release. He uses his Irish history to critique modern-day capitalism using American blues. Nobody else can do it the way he does. 


I think there’s also something to be said about the way he sings the song. His voice is incredibly sultry throughout the song, as if he’s trying to make eating children attractive. 


The second song on the album is “All Things End” which leans more heavily into American blues than the other songs.


Sticking with his theme of the circles of hell, this song is about heresy. I believe he means heresy in the idea that you don’t believe in an afterlife because there isn’t one, there is only now. 


While this song does have a very non-religious message, in my opinion, the music and vocals actually take you to church.


The entire song seems to be an ode to the human condition; the idea that we all suffer but there are beautiful things nonetheless. Given the world that we live in now, I think this message is more important than ever. 


The final song on the EP is “Through Me (The Flood).” I don’t think a circle of hell has been assigned to this song, but I feel as if this song is about the journey through them all. 


According to Hozier, this song was written during the pandemic. This song, much like the last one, is about the human condition. But this one is about those who take that suffering and use it to continue on instead of being motivated by the good things. 


I think he did an excellent job of describing what the pandemic was like, with the feeling of hopelessness as we all sat inside hoping our loved ones would be okay. It also reflects the George Floyd protests when we watched people being kidnapped and murdered but still continued to fight for justice. 


Overall, I think these were perfect songs to tease an album. They were different enough musically, but they followed a cohesive theme. More importantly, they are just good songs, and I honestly can’t wait for more. 


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