A year in the life of An­drew Hozier-byrne from those who know him best

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FRONT PAGE -

One day in spring this year, An­drew Hozier-Byrne was walk­ing down Par­lia­ment Street in Dublin with his gui­tar case. He had just re­turned from an Amer­i­can tour that fea­tured per­for­mances in New York and at SXSW, and had cel­e­brated his 24th birth­day – which falls on St Pa­trick’s Day – in Chateau Mar­mont on Sun­set Boule­vard. (A pre-tour show in Whe­lan’s be­fore he set off al­ready seems like a quaint relic.) Within a week in May, Hozier had per­formed Take Me To Church on the Late Show with David Let­ter­man and on Ellen.

The pre­vi­ous De­cem­ber, Hozier was stand­ing on the al­tar of the St James’ Church with his hand trem­bling. Per­form­ing at Other Voices was a big deal for a guy who had just re­leased an EP, but not a sur­prise to those who had heard about the A&R crush at his But­ton Fac­tory show dur­ing the Hard Work­ing Class He­roes fes­ti­val a month pre­vi­ously. But what had re­ally caught peo­ple’s at­ten­tion was the video for

Take Me To Church, di­rected by Feel Good Lost’s Bren­dan Canty. The video ref­er­enced the vi­o­lence per­pe­trated against gay men in Rus­sia, and man­aged that rare thing of cre­at­ing an epic in a few min­utes.

Quiet ab­stracts

Be­fore Other Voices, Hozier gave his first news­pa­per in­ter­view to The Ir­ish Times. He was so softly spo­ken, it was dif­fi­cult to hear his voice on the record­ing af­ter­wards. His mum drove him to the in­ter­view in the Cen­tral Ho­tel, a quiet room where he barely raised the vol­ume. He talked about read­ing Por­trait of the Artist as a Young Man while writ­ing songs. Of the tracks al­ready re­leased, he spoke in quiet ab­stracts that on re­flec­tion sounded re­veal­ing and dra­matic. “If I was to speak can­didly about it,” he said, of how a re­la­tion­ship in­flu­enced his writ­ing, “I found the ex­pe­ri­ence of fall­ing in love or be­ing in love was death – a death of ev­ery­thing.

‘There’s a tac­tile na­ture to the lyrics and it’s of­ten about sen­sory things, but also I think be­cause a lot of the in­flu­ences are from blues; blues mu­sic is just sex’

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