In a recent announcement, Grammy-nominated artist Hozier has confirmed additional performances in North America as he continues his world tour for his latest album, Wasteland, Baby! — including a stop at The Clyde.
Scheduled to perform June 11, tickets for the performance have been selling rapidly.
Protest Anthem Brings fame
Hozier is the mononym for musician Andrew Hozier-Byrne, son of visual artist Raine Hozier-Byrne. Hailing from Ireland, Hozier’s musical ambitions began after enrolling in Trinity College to study music.
Although he did not complete his schooling, instead choosing to leave higher education to record for Universal Music Group, his participation in the Trinity Orchestra and choral ensemble Anúna helped propel his career.
Perhaps best known for his 2013 breakout hit, “Take Me to Church,” a protest anthem about the Roman Catholic Church, Hozier has continued to gain fame internationally. With only two officially produced albums, Hozier has demonstrated a continued social awareness in his music while amassing a number of nominations and awards.
From the protest anthem “Take Me to Church” to the throwback, social justice-minded “Nina Cried Power,” his overall sound continuously evokes an ethereal, indie vibe, while the content is a continued call to concern over our future and the human race.
Although the idea of a call-to-action album may seem off-putting to some audiences, Hozier’s incredible, powerful vocal range creates a sound that moves spectators to feel the purpose of his music. In live performances, while his towering physical stature may seem commanding, it is ultimately his voice that is authoritative and appealing to audiences.
Dark themes in Bluesy Sound
Wasteland, Baby! combines a mixture of sound flavors — from the jaunty “Dinner & Diatribes” to the defiant “Nina Cried Power.”
“Nina Cried Power,” one of the first hits released from the album, feature special guests Mavis Stapleton (blues/gospel singer as well as civil rights activist) and Booker T Jones (Stax Records multi-instrumentalist). Ensuring an appeal to a large audience, fans can anticipate an overall bluesy sound with dark themes (such as environmental disasters and political chaos) interwoven into the content.
A sense of Macabre Romance
In a recent interview with Billboard Magazine, he commented on how the dark album came to fruition.
“At the time, I was just reading the news and trying to reconcile these anxieties and concerns with what we might be facing as a global community over the next few years,” he said. “I won’t speak to whether I’m hopeful or what my outlook is, but some of the songs are trying to confront those concerns. Sometimes answer them, sometimes not. Sometimes they just yield to that anxiety, the dread, like Wasteland, Baby!”
The album, however, is certainly not all doom and gloom. In fact, there is a sense of cheekiness and even macabre romance about aspects of the music.
“When ‘Wasteland, Baby!’ was written, it seemed to sum up a certain vibe across the album…. ‘Wasteland, Baby!’ the tune, with its exclamation mark and this wry smile to it, seemed to just sum up some of that kind of gallows humor that’s across all the songs. It’s dealing with the worst case scenario, but maybe it’s a very Irish thing. If you don’t laugh, you’d cry, so you try to meet these things with a smile on your face.”
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December 27 • Clyde Theatre