The Red and Grey

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The Red and Grey

The Red and Grey

Unreal Unearth

Unreal Unearth

Hozier is a beautifully, multi-talented Irish musician who dips his melodic fingertips in multiple genres including rock, soul, blues, alternative rock, and alternative/indie. With well-received and popular songs such as, “Take Me to Church,” “Cherry Wine” and “Work Song”, Hozier has furthered his honest expressions of raw experiences. His lyricism is pure poetry: each piece holds a sensitive story full of love, sorrow, and remorse. Deep, gospel tones and exquisite, thoughtful art are displayed for all to hear and resonate with such, unequivocally battling traditional roles in society. Unreal Unearth is a 16-track eclectic masterpiece, something of a retrospective of what sounds lean into, and was released on Aug. 18.

 

“Abstract (Psychopomp) ” is a derivative of the meaning, abstract psychopomp. It entails a spirit guide that leads a physical being from one phase of life into another, usually death. The inspiration from Hozier himself comes from a moment in his childhood in which he experienced the death of an animal getting hit by a vehicle. A stranger then comes and comforts the animal as they face the end. The idea is that human kindness is strong enough to comfort inevitable death, even to an “emotionless: creature. The lyrics combined with the pure notes wades into a consolation you will never want to leave. With catchy tunes and easy-to-hum beats, Hoizer leaves an imprint with the beckoning piece of art that “Abstract (Psychopomp)” is.

 

Based on the tale of Francesca de Rimini, “Francesca” dives into an ethereal essence. The story of Rimini, a character from “Inferno,” is about a woman who was condemned to the second circle of hell after having an affair with her brother-in-law. In significance, Hozier writes from the perspective of her lover, who passionately sings, “I would not change it each time / Heaven is not fit to house a love like you and me.” Seductive guitar strums beneath Hozier’s soothing yet powerful voice creating a dream-like state for the listener. The complex lyrics allow moments where we truly consider the imagery and purpose. Subtle hints of Hozier’s Irish accent peek through his melodies. There is a new approach because of the pop-like overall feel of the song.

 

“Damage Gets Done” is a wistful duet between Hozier and Brandi Carlile, pairing her soaring vocals with his deep, sultry voice. Reflecting on youth, it’s a piece that not only captures nostalgia sonically, with plucky strings and a lively hook within its larger-than-life aura, but narratively, as it eloquently describes youthful memories. Despite their relative newness to the world of Hozier, synths add a welcome pulsing energy underneath indie-rock. It’s somewhat unfamiliar territory for Hozier, sounding more like a mix of indie and 80s pop.

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Carley Fryer, Staff Writer

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