The last the world has heard from Hozier was in 2014 with the release of his self titled debut album. This album included hits like chart topping “Take Me to Church” and “Work Song.” He has resurfaced as the name on people’s lips with his sophomore album “Wasteland, Baby!” which was released not too long ago on the first day of March. Upon first listen, Hozier achieves the overall vibe of destruction (mostly of the Earth), and love in todays day and age.
Hozier is an old soul with a bold personality. An Ireland native with a passion for rhythm and blues, he’s made his presence in the music industry known. It’s hard to imagine listening to “Wasteland, Baby!” somewhere other than atop of another planet watching the Earth slowly spiral into destruction or more conveniently, blasting it while frolicking in the woods. When we think of the albums or the songs we love, people always associate it to a moment or a memory when they first heard it. Fittingly, I was on my way to get crystals with one of my friends when she played it for me. Before hearing the album, I only linked Hozier to his first hit “Take Me To Church” that was played over and over around local radio stations and when Ed Sheeran covered it at BBC (it was also a karaoke go-to in my 7th grade Social Studies class). Now Hozier has been the name I’ve been saying the most for the past week. Mainstream music often gets the brutal reputation of being generic. Not singing personal lyrics that artists actually believe in, caring more about whether a plethora of age groups can dance to it rather than relate to it (with the exception of a few artists). Hozier has overlooked all of these imaginary standards in the music industry, and released a whole other vibe that no album in the 21st century has ever been able to achieve. The romantic aspect of the end of the world. Making it seem like it’s just another day on the calendar. Artists can sing about the end of the world, but they’ve never been able to take us there- to make us see it. See: R.E.M- It’s The End Of The World. The world we live in is breathtaking. It’a hard to actually think of where we live in a broad aspect because it’s all too overwhelming. Hozier has achieved this level of thinking with beautifully crafted metaphors relating to a birds relationship with a thorn bush to an Irish folk melody. Along with lovers as trees, flawed human beings, and the realness of dancing, listening, and understanding. He makes heartbreak seem like it’s an open mic night on the Upper East Side where hopes and dreams go, the beginning of everything. As we lose light and warmth we still have hope, and we have each other if we truly learn to embrace it. Because there’s something truly lovely about destruction: hope and love can keep the world warm long after the sun burns out. We’ll be wading in the effects of a dried up ocean, each soul linked together as we roam around complete desolation. But before we get to that point, Hozier makes us find comfort in the destruction of our own worlds.
It’s hard to argue the fact that Hozier has single handedly made the end of the world seem like a romantic diatribe. The most accurate image of this vibe is in “No Plan,” “Sunlight,” and of course, “Wasteland, Baby!” All three of these songs leads us to believe that the end of the world would be better with a friend as the sun slowly dies bringing us along with it. He sings about smelling the stench of the sea, and that the absence of green are the death of all things that are seen and unseen. We don’t have any plans for the end of the world, we know that’ll happen, we just don’t know when. Even now, we could be described as living in a wasteland. The man made destruction of the earth, our only home. We are forced to live with our actions, and we’ll die with them too. For an album such as that, we see a positive outlook on it. The beauty of it all is that Hozier has given us a killer soundtrack for the end of the world.