Hozier takes a poignant look back on a decade of “Take Me to Church,” as he channels the emotional aftermath of a breakup into his music.
A full decade has come and gone since the Irish singer-songwriter, known as Hozier in the spotlight but named Andrew Hozier-Byrne in life, unleashed the impactful anthem “Take Me to Church.” It’s a milestone that has him reminiscing about the journey that song has taken him on.
Back when the tune first skyrocketed, Hozier was merely 23, a young soul catapulted into international stardom. The song’s popularity soared to unparalleled heights, reigning supreme in over a dozen nations and amassing an astonishing 2 billion Spotify streams as of this year. The sheer success of it all continues to catch him off guard even now.
“I still can’t quite wrap my mind around it,” he admitted with a chuckle.
In parallel with the everlasting legacy of “Take Me to Church,” the accomplished artist has just unveiled his much-anticipated third studio album, “Unreal Unearth,” which saw its release just last Friday. But the journey to this latest album wasn’t a smooth ride. About three and a half years ago, Hozier was on the cusp of dropping new music, until the pandemic swept through, reshaping his perspective on his art’s place in the world.
“The world underwent such a transformation, and suddenly a lot of the work I had seemed trivial in the face of it all. I found myself scrapping many ideas and grappling to create, to meet the moment,” he mused.
As the world gradually regained some semblance of normalcy, Hozier found himself with time to spare, a chance to embark on some personal introspection. He likens this period to an internal “janitorial work,” a process where his ideas found refuge in his mind, his phone, and countless memos to himself.
His newest album delves deep into the realms of love and heartbreak, elements fueled by a particularly painful breakup that left a profound mark on the singer’s soul. Through his music, Hozier masterfully articulates these intricate emotions, though he admits that discussing them in interviews is a challenge of its own.
“It was a time of both beauty and struggle,” he confessed, the complexities of the experience evident in his words.
In the music video for “All Things End,” Hozier’s portrayal of a patient in critical condition serves as a symbolic representation of the intense cycle of love and loss he grappled with during the album’s creation. He perceives the album as a raw reflection of his personal odyssey, a gift that encapsulates the journey of moving forward.
Reflecting on his creative process, Hozier unveiled a sense of mystery in the way melodies emerge, describing it as a magical phenomenon that unites artists in a shared musical expedition.
“It’s like catching a wave, and there’s that moment when everyone in the room exchanges that ‘Did you hear that?’ glance. Then we sing it again, like setting it free. It’s a liberating feeling,” he shared with a genuine smile.