Having two studio albums under his belt, Ireland’s Hozier is no newcomer to the music world. He oozes class and embodies coolness. The release of this third record has been so eagerly anticipated by so many, and for good reason. The singer-songwriter interestingly opted to release a fair few of the tracks from the sixteen-track record ahead of its full release. Among the five released ahead of ‘Unreal Unearth’ were the self-described “funky disco love song” ‘De Selby (Part 2)’ as well as ‘Eat Your Young’. The variation in style between the singles was definitely a sign of things to come. Hozier once again demonstrated his multitude of talents by nailing a great number of different styles on ‘Unreal Unearth’.  

The opener couldn’t be more apt. ‘De Selby (Part 1)’ is nothing short of the perfect track to kick start a record. Having been treated to part two already, fans were biting their nails in anticipation for part one. It did not disappoint. Despite being almost oxymoronic in style, it is quite definitely equal in brilliance. Unmissable right from the start, with classic Hozier guitar work that is quite simply  enough to bewitch listeners, the track is so powerful. The singer’s voice haunts in such beautiful fashion, and I can’t help but think: it’s the ideal song to perform to vast crowds, who will listen on in awe. If we weren’t aware of the power Hozier and his breath-taking vocals, ‘De Selby (Part 1)’ we would be more than so after first listen.  

‘First Time’ is the first track that will be totally new to listeners. It shows the singer off in a different light, with him mastering a style similar to that of older songs such as ‘Jackie and Wilson’. ‘First Time’ feels loose and free, with the singer playing with a great collection of instruments that compliment yet another stunning vocal performance. This is, too, one of the most notable vocal moments on the album, with Hozier’s native accent really coming out to play in moments of the number. All of this makes for another instant classic. 

Single ‘Francesca’ follows and is as genius in its place on the record as it was as a stand-alone piece. Immediately after this is ‘I, Carrion (Icarian)’. This one draws back to the more chilling and thought-provoking side of the artist, beginning with what can only be described as a chant-like section, followed by beautiful guitar sounds. The folky-feel is indescribably powerful. This one will really hit-home with many. It is, quite simply, a great track.  

Following the record, Hozier has announced his tour of the UK and Europe, where he will bring ‘Unholy Unearth’ to the ears of thousands in person. The dates include shows at some of the continents largest and most famous arenas, and it is totally deserved. The singer has gone to great lengths to achieve what he has so far, and he shows no signs of slowing down. The hard work and excellence of Hozier hasn’t gone unnoticed in the slightest, with dates on his tour being sold out already, including his appearance at London’s OVO Wembley Arena. 

A track that fans will be eager to hear live after the release of the record is ‘Who We Are’, a track that is performed on a piano.  The words of this one are just so incredibly powerful. Hozier sings: “You and I burned out our steam, chasing someone else’s dreams.” The track feels truly self-reflectional and open, there are no secrets between the singer and his audience.  

The sincerity is continued from the closure of this track into the next, ‘Son of Nyx’: a track that is exclusively instrumental, once again centred around a piano. It really makes for a complete sounding album, with the feel of the previous track being continued. 

The latter half of the record is as good as the first. There are tracks which really do rise out as head and shoulders above the rest, though. One of these is the hugely uplifting ‘Anything But’. Hozier once again delivers a stunning vocal display, but this time its accompanied by a hopeful and energising clapping sound. The track climaxes with the chorus: “I don’t wanna be anything, but I would do anything just to run away. I don’t wanna be anything like this at all, but I would do anything if you’d hear me say.” It has a real inspiring feel and the way in which it’s delivered is breath-taking.  

The record closes out in style. The final tracks are superb, with the ultimate number being one of the most poignant. ‘First Light’ closes the record in similar fashion to the way it was opened initially. Another chilling vocal performance ensures that listeners are gripped right to the very last seconds.  

Hozier’s third studio album ‘Unreal Unearth’ is not to be missed. It is the ultimate display of what he can do. If you’re lucky enough o get a ticket for his tour, do not miss the chance to catch some of these songs live.  

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