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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USFSP chapter.

It’s officially midterm season, and while midterms tend to make me crazy, if you add in new Hozier releases, you may as well lock me up right now. This, my friends, is what we’ve all been craving since Wasteland, Baby dropped in 2019. Of course, knowing his audience, Hozier elected to release an EP with just three songs as a sort-of teaser before the release of his full album, Unreal Unearth in the late summer. The unreleased album is said to explore themes in Dante’s Inferno, which is evident in the first song he released this year, Eat Your Young. 

Eat Your Young seems to be an exploration of Dante’s third and fourth circle of hell, Greed and Gluttony, respectively. Religious themes are hardly new to Hozier’s music, especially ones that explore aspects of punishment and death, (like in his most well-known song, Take Me To Church), but this song is especially harsh. The lyrics are circling between the idea of greed and gluttony, as a storyteller speaks to his love, asking for food and riches. The song is obviously satirical in its expression of the singer’s desire to eat children, but the message seems to be that the greed of the adult generations is poisoning the future of society. The hook of the song is “Seven new ways / that you can eat your young.” Dante’s Inferno describes nine circles of hell, but there are sins known as the “Seven Deadly Sins” which could be his point of reference. I’m not sure I’ve grasped the full meaning of this song quite yet; I think that the remainder of the album will help bring some much-needed context. This song has already caught the eye of many in the media-music world, and for good reason. It’s incredibly catchy and despite the dark lyricism, the song is a great one for boppin’ around town.  

The next song on the EP is called All Things End and I’m sure you can guess from the title how this song will make you feel. What’s interesting to me is that this song feels like it’s meant to be sung by a choir. The chorus is begging for harmonies on harmonies, and just when it seems like he’s going to deny us the choir, the last chorus is a booming acapella version with countless voices. Unsurprisingly, the song is reminiscent of church choir performances during worship. The lyrics, however, tell a story of a failed relationship, which simply couldn’t last. The lyrics are heartbreaking and disgustingly familiar to anyone who’s loved and lost, but the hook is truly beautiful: “And just knowing that everything will end / We should not change our plans / When we begin again”. I’d argue that Hozier is one of the greatest lyricists to ever live, and this song is no exception. Look up the lyrics while you listen if you need a good cry.  

Now, the final song on this EP is called, Through Me (The Flood) and it’s seriously good. I’m not sure what about this song scratches my brain so perfectly, but it’s dark, fast-paced, and the lyrics are a work of art. “Every time I’d burn through the world, I’d see / That the world, it burns through me.” This lyric had me googling the song immediately, and I’m in awe of what I’ve gathered about the meaning behind this song. We burn through the earth, we, the apex predators, the highest form of intelligence, we take from the earth and give nothing back. Then, so selfishly, we wonder why we face hardships, why there’s famine, climate change, and environmental disasters. We have burned through the world, and now the world will burn through us. All the earth that we’ve conquered will mean nothing when it is uninhabitable. Hozier seriously never fails to leave me with my jaw on the floor.  

I’m a steadfast Hozier fan, so maybe everything he does seems incredible to me, but I know from this EP that the themes presented in Unreal Unearth along with the dark synthesizer sounds and full choirs singing background vocals is going to blow us all away. Try to listen to Hozier songs first to absorb the music, then listen again with the lyrics in front of you. His lyrics can seriously change the musical connotations like you’d never expect. Stay tuned for my thoughts on his album after the release this summer.  

Rebecca is a student at the University of South Florida, currently obtaining a BS in Biology with a concentration in Medical Biology. She was born and raised in St. Petersburg, and now attends University at the St. Petersburg campus. Although she is a Biology major, she maintains a profound love for the art in writing and believes that art and science should go hand-in-hand.