Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hozier: Live On KCRW + Take Me To Church

24-year-old Irish singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Andrew Hozier-Byrne aka Hozier has arguable been the busiest man in show business this year, but despite his crazy schedule of performing, recording, and interviewing he seems remarkably unfazed by it all. His current tour continues until late March (with a break between Christmas and late January) and almost every date is sold out.

His relatively fast ascent to fame is in great part owing to the song "Take Me To Church" going viral on the Internet last year. However, unlike so many artists/bands who suddenly find themselves with a hit on their hands, the man is no one hit wonder as the 'Hozier' debut full-length amply proves. The 13-track album was released globally this month (an edition with two bonus tracks dropped in late July) and showcases Hozier's sublime vocals and outstanding guitar work.

His blues musician father exposed his son to American blues and soul music from an early age and the influence is of course obvious, but like his fellow Irish musical magician Van Morrison, Hozier has managed to create his own very personal sound that mixes American blues/R&B/soul with the equally rich tradition of Irish music. It's a truly beautiful combo and one that will hopefully result in many more albums from this immensely gifted artist.

NOTE: His debut EP 'Take Me To Church' was released in 2013. The EP 'From Eden' followed earlier this year. The debut full-length 'Hozier' contains almost all of the tracks from the two EPs.

The stellar set at KCRW [the flagship public radio station in Santa Monica, California] and Morning Becomes Eclectic show host Jason Bentley's relaxed interview is well worth watching. Hozier proves that he can deliver the goods not just in recording studio, but also live, and it is thus safe to say that concert goers have much to look forward to this fall and winter.

The powerful video accompanying "Take Me To Church" that went viral in 2013 was created by the two-man Dublin based team of Feel Good Lost in close collaboration with the artist himself.