On September 25, 2014, then-little-known Irish singer-songwriter Hozier released the video for “Take Me to Church.” Half a year later, the song has more than 80 million views on YouTube, it was named Spotify’s most viral single of 2014, and Hozier has performed it on the likes of The Late Show with David Letterman and SNL. The single is the album’s first track and runaway hit, but Hozier’s adept guitar playing and soulful voice carry the other 12 cuts just as well.
The son of a blues drummer, Hozier grew up listening to Chicago and Delta blues, as well as soul and jazz. He told the Telegraph that he “got really obsessed with Delta blues, one man and his guitar”—an influence that’s evident in gritty, bare tracks like “To Be Alone.” Vocally, the depth-beyond-his-years singer takes inspiration from female powerhouses like Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald.
“Blessed with a sensual singing voice and a seemingly bottomless well of lapsed-Catholic-style conflict, Hozier channels Van Morrison’s Celtic R&B, Southern soul and Black Keys-style garage blues into intimately roiling songs …” – Rolling Stone
“He’s a believable storyteller, a subtle guitarist and a composer of haunting melodies, making this album eminently worth exploring.” – the Guardian
“The languorous “It Will Come Back” boasts devilish strings to match Hozier’s smoky, wizened voice. “Someone New” is upbeat vintage soul, and the fantastic “Jackie And Wilson” is retro-toned R&B backed by an angelic choir of harmonies.” – A.V. Club
- Hozier’s full-length studio debut
- Released October 7, 2014
- Label: Columbia
- Genre: alternative
- Format: CD
- Take Me to Church
- Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene
- Jackie and Wilson (Album Version)
- Someone New (Album Version)
- To Be Alone (Album Version)
- From Eden (Album Version)
- In a Week (Album Version) featuring Karen Cowley
- Work Song
- Like Real People Do
- It Will Come Back (Album Version)
- Foreigner’s God (Album Version)
- Cherry Wine (Live)
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