24 year old Irish singer/song writer Andrew Hozier-Byrnes took the world by storm when his debut, somewhat controversial single went viral last year. Opening the doors to harsh criticism with its powerful visual of homosexual hatred accompanied by the overtly ironic title ‘Take Me to Church’. The clip debuted during the uproar in Russia over anti-gay legislation last winter, featuring a disturbing scene of gay persecution and a defiant voice against his homelands’ widely accepted catholic religion.
The strength of the single lurched the new talent head first on to the international stage with sold out US tours and entrancing performances on the Ellen DeGeneres show and Letterman, thrusting the singer in to the ever watchful public eye and in his brooding self-titled debut album he’s managed to produce some more hits. Namely, the eighth track of the album ‘sedated’ is a sure winner with its sing-along gospel style chorus and effortless vocals. But being more than just a one hit wonder was not the musician’s intention, telling music blog rolling stone his aim isn’t to have tons of screaming fans. ‘I don’t want legions of 15 year old girls who call themselves broziers or something.’ ‘My career isn’t going to be that kind of thing.’
The purpose of Hozier’s creations is made clear in the lyrical message of his songs, telling the guardian ‘organisations like the Catholic Church undermine what it is to be human and loving somebody else’ an issue that lays close to his heart, plucking out some unashamedly romantic ballads from his acoustic bible. Although the album is mainly a heavy reflection of modern issues in society, it features a few upbeat and soulful tunes including ‘Jackie and Wilson’ -a momentous track conjured from the deep-south influence of the artist’s blues icon Jackie Wilson.
He will be spreading the word wider afield in his UK tour in December followed by a voyage to the masses of the US and Canada next year.