The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

Hozier’s Unheard is a Masterpiece

Courtesy of Rubyworks Records
Hozier’s new EP “Unheard” completely surpassed my expectations.

On March 22, 2024, the popular Irish singer/songwriter Andrew Hozier-Byrne (a.k.a Hozier) released his “Unheard” EP, which contains four unreleased tracks from his full-length 2023 album “Unreal Unearth.” This EP reached number 10 on the Billboard 200s chart, and has received mountains of positive responses from fans, especially for the debut song “Too Sweet.”

Listeners generally agree that the first track “Too Sweet” is the best on this EP. This song went viral online after Hozier leaked it himself before even announcing the EP. Only days after the song’s official release did it surpass Hozier’s (probably) most culturally significant song “Take Me to Church” on Apple Music.

All of the love that “Too Sweet” has received is well deserved though. I think that Hozier has written better lyrically complex songs, but I absolutely love the sound of this track. Hozier’s vocals are utilized so beautifully in this song. The song itself is so catchy too, I find myself humming it multiple times a day, and whenever I have my airpods in, this song is always in the queue.

The second track “Wildflower and Barley” kind of reminds me of Lo-Fi hip-hop. It starts with a really quiet baseline and birds chirping. This entire song just feels really cozy, in my opinion. The music is really calm and relatively slow, which I didn’t really like at first. However, it’s definitely grown on me. This song also features Allison Russel, whose vocals, both solo and when mixed with Hozier’s, are just incredible.

I think that the lyrics to “Wildflower and Barley” are really beautiful too. It uses symbols of renewal, perseverance, life and death. Life is sad; life is a miracle; and I think that this song really appreciates life in all of its beauty and its ugliness.

My least favorite track on the Unheard EP is probably the third one: “Empire Now.” I’m not really a fan of the EDM vibes that the chorus gives (In fact, it kind of reminds me of the Wubboxes from the game “My Singing Monsters”). I think that this song can also get really repetitive, and I just don’t have a lot of fun listening to it. I think that the lyrics to “Empire Now” are really powerful though. It’s a play on the old phrase “the sun never sets on the British Empire,” because the old British Empire colonized so many time zones that there was always somewhere where the sun would be in the sky. However, the song tells the story of Irish independence and revolution and the importance of fighting for freedom.

“Fare Well” is the only song on the EP that I really can’t wrap my head around why it would be cut from the original Unreal Unearth album. I think that the vibes for the first three songs were definitely a departure from those of the original album, but this one just feels like it would have been a really perfect conclusion to the original album. This song has an upbeat sound to it, and I think that it creates such a perfect conclusion to the “Unreal Unearth” and “Unheard” saga. If I had to choose, this track would probably be my favorite.

I think that lyrically, this song is about moving on. The original Unreal Unearth story is technically about the 9 circles of hell, and in a literal sense, this song is about getting back to Earth. However, Hozier loves his metaphors (and I love his metaphors too!), so I think that this song is about getting out of a low point and acknowledging that grief, joy, pain, pleasure, sunlight, and suffering are unavoidable. However, it is important to accept all of them with open arms because you know you’ll be alright

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