Just a few weeks ago, the Irish singer, songwriter and musician, Hozier, released a new EP titled “Eat Your Young.” The EP has only three songs, each different yet exquisite. A release from the artists has been something that fans have been eager for since his last album “Wasteland, Baby!” in March of 2019. Whereas many are ready for the eventual summer release of the full album, this early preview is hopefully enough to suffice.
The title track opens with a heavy foundation beat accompanied by string instruments that builds a landscape for the song. The initial mood is eerie, but has the grandeur of a James Bond esque theme. As Hozier’s soulful and mellow vocals flow into the song, the heavy thuds of the drum start to fade out, and the strings move towards the back of the listening experience, with moments sprinkled throughout the song that show the beauty and power of the instrument.
After reading an article about this EP, I was alerted that the theme of the first track is gluttony. Whereas I did not make this discovery on my own, it was easy to notice as I listened through the song again. Hozier does an excellent job at creating imagery that allows the listener to picture the absurdities that he sings. The first pre chorus is where it is easiest to notice this symbolism, as Hozier sings about racing to the table and “the gettin” being gone.
The second track, “All Things End” starts off much differently than the first track. Rather than a heavy thud it is snaps that replace the starting instrument accompanied by a piano. The song’s background track feels much simpler than the first track, as it expels the louder instruments for a more elegant feel, as Hozier continues to use stringed instruments to create an outstanding melodious tune.
The song highlights the lyrical and poetic abilities that Hozier possesses as an artist. Put bluntly, the song focuses on the eventual and undeniable ending of all things, and how we should learn to accept it, but not let this cosmically sized notion alter the way we choose to live.
In the song’s beginning, Hozier masks its true intentions by disguising it as a breakup ballad. With lyrics such as “If there was anyone to ever get through this life with their heart still intact, they didn’t do it right.” It is easy to infer that the artist has suffered a great deal of heartbreak. However, upon arriving at the chorus, we can determine that Hozier is singing about much more than the end of a relationship.
“And just knowing that everything will end should not change our plans when we begin again.” This is the key to understanding just how tragic yet beautiful this track truly is. If there is one song out of the three that I would recommend, it would be this one as it truly encompasses the talent that Hozier has. If not a musician, he would be a magnificent poet with the way that he is able to mask meaning and let the listener have an individual auditory experience.
The final track, “Through Me (The Flood),” starts with a sorrowful hum with what I believe to be an organ placed in the background. As the hum fades out, we are left with the organ and Hozier’s fervent voice. Slowly, the drums appear and begin to build with the addition of other percussion instruments until a conglomeration of sounds builds the song to a turning point.
The song itself keys in on strength and perseverance against tragedy and injustice. Hozier asks the listener to imagine a person swimming far from shore, as they swim, they begin to feel a large wave start to build. The swimmer does not choose to let the wave take them. Rather they choose to gather their strength and push forward. This parable of sorts leads into the main idea of the song. “Every time (Each time I) Would flow through the world, I’d see (Flow through the—) That the world (The world) It flows through me (It flows through me) That the world, it flows through me” as Hozier puts it. This track, though somber at parts, is a beautiful encouragement to the listener to persevere.
Even if this short EP is disappointing to those who are eager for the eventual release of the whole album, it is still an excellent foundation to set. The alluring yet tragic songs on this EP are songs that I believe all people should intentionally listen to, even if they only know Hozier as the guy who sings “Take Me to Church.”