University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

Most Underrated Hozier Songs

Badger Admin

ByBadger Admin

May 14, 2024

With the skyrocketing popularity of his new Unheard EP’s opening track, ‘Too Sweet’, singer/songwriter Hozier has hit the charts again for the first time since his debut song, ‘Take Me To Church’. While his first release in 2013 sat in Billboard’s Top 10 for almost four months. the early release on TikTok of ‘Too Sweet’ has helped it to two weeks at No. 1. Exploring his less listened-to tracks, however, we find some incredible gems that deserve to be Unearth-ed.

5. ‘Abstract (Psychopomp)’

An incredibly moving song on his newest album Unreal Unearth, Hozier compares the death of a relationship to the death of an animal he witnessed at a young age, describing his fear that he might never be able to move past this thing that has happened to him, and how he relates to the dying creature in its last moments. Through powerful, slightly-muffled drums as if you’re hearing this song underwater, the synths that embrace and enrapture you, and Heaney-level poetic lyrics, Hozier delivers a harsh blow to anyone who thought this would be a feel-good album.

4. ‘De Selby (Pt 1)’

While ‘De Selby (Pt 2)’ may get more love on this album for being trashier and pop-ier, this track deserves just as much, if not more, recognition as it’s the opening track of Unreal Unearth. From the earthliness of the synth to the weightlessness of the plucking styles, and the seamless blend to its sister song, this song is artful. With references in every line to literature that is sewn throughout the entire album, and even more specifically, Irish literature and history, this song is a tribute to Hozier’s influences – both in literature and history. The song’s ending, sung entirely in Irish Gaelige, harkens to something incredible – as Gealige is considered an endangered language – the heritage of Hozier himself, teaching its beauty to others. 

3. ‘Jackboot Jump – Live’

Produced as a live-only version of an intense song, ‘Jackboot Jump’ namedrops some specific instances of political activism that were prominent at the time: Standing Rock, Hong Kong, Russia and Moscow. The song about standing up and fighting through the use of bluegrass rock and electric vocals could make anyone want to stand up for injustices, making it a powerful piece, especially as all royalties were given to Black Lives Matter organisations in America. Based on a George Orwell quote, this song is a helpful conglomeration of anger felt all over the world at the time and stretches to today’s issues just as easily.

2. ‘In a Week’ (feat. Karen Cowley)

Glorifying death is no strange concept to Hozier, but this first instance from Hozier (Special Edition) provides the scope of dying in the embrace of your lover in the countryside. With a swaying bassline that rocks you, gorgeous harmonies that make you want to slow dance, and beautiful imagery of a serene countryside, this song is a ballad to loving someone so deeply that even death isn’t enough to keep you apart, that you may just want to fall asleep with them and never wake.

1. ‘Wasteland, Baby!’

The eponymous track of Hozier’s second album, ‘Wasteland, Baby’ is a beautiful masterpiece about the gentle love found at the world’s end. With a soft bassline holding the track like a heartbeat, the ribs of Hozier’s acoustic plucking style, and the subtle, moving synth to wash everything back and forth, this track is a body. It’s gentle and kind in the face of uncertainty – written in 2019 when the Doomsday clock was moved to just two minutes to midnight. With so many insecurities in a dangerous time, Hozier provides us with a reminder that there is still love to be found; gentle, hopeful, and serene – all things found and encompassed by this incredible song.

Badger Admin

By Badger Admin

The Badger Newspaper

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