The first time I heard Hozier’s breakout (and Grammy-nominated) single, “Take Me to Church” I was sleeping. I woke as if from a beautiful dream, jumped out of bed and went to my computer. I needed to know what the song was before it slipped away.
Although I found out that the Irish singer/songwriter’s debut album was due out in the fall of 2014, I put off buying it because I was afraid I would be disappointed. I finally purchased the album on vinyl a couple of days ago, opened it, took a breath and listened.
I am not disappointed.
Hozier’s roots rock sound feels like it was born and bred in the Bible Belt of the American South. There are head-bobbing blues riffs, spare melodies, 1960’s soul, violins, cello and plenty of church choir style harmonies. Somehow, Hozier manages to wrangle these eclectic sounds into a cohesive album.
This record will appeal to fans of The Black Keys (especially the track “To Be Alone”). Standout tracks include “Work Song” and “It Will Come Back,” with the amazing lines “Jesus Christ, don’t be kind to me/Honey don’t feed me/I will come back.”