by MJ Hall
From the mystical land of Ireland hails Andrew Hozier-Byrne, who fits in with the typical story within music; succeeding while young, struggling with the confinements of producers and then, eventually managing to reach the ultimate goal of complete control over content.
I listened to ‘Sedated’ before I researched Hozier. Initially, I thought him American; the chords in the track are distinct to be compared to Grizzly Bears’ ‘Two Weeks’; his voice is deep and soulful enough to be compared to Bon Iver’s. Although, there’s something incomparable. Hozier has beautifully dark and honest lyrics, which I’m going to assume are about drug use or an addictive love, such as ‘You and I nursing on a poison that never stung, Our teeth and lungs are lined with the scum of it’. He’s then combined these with a truly anthemic chorus, one with an uplifting, powerful change in piano and beat. This made me think that this is one of the only songs I can see used in a football or drama advert on ITV and still be a soundtrack to a hipster’s complex breakup.
The simplicity of the track is something to love amongst the bombardment of beeps, boops and drops in modern music. The stripped back nature of ‘Sedated’ allows Hozier to show the rich uniqueness of his voice immediately. And, what really pleased me about this track is that every individual part of it is finely produced with the others in mind: musical equilibrium. Although, I was a tad disappointed with the finale to the song, which saw the song stripped back more and concluded by a chorus with extra vocals. It seemed a bit stereotypical.
Is the track worth a download? Yes. Will I be checking out more of his work? Definitely. Hozier’s blues influence and voice sets him aside from those music recommendations. You can catch him at Reading Festival, where I’ll be seeing him too.
You can read more on Hozier here – https://www.facebook.com/hoziermusic/info.