Everyone’s Favorite Fairy Bog Man Has Finally Announced a New Album Is Coming This Summer
There’s only one thing that can make the perspective of summer better in my book—and that thing is new music from the bog man fairy king of our hearts. Yes, the rumors are true. Hozier is finally releasing a new album.
The career of Irish musician Andrew Hozier-Byrne, known most simply as Hozier, started when his “Take Me to Church” was released in 2013. 2014 saw the debut of his first self-titled full album, which contained “Take Me to Church” as well as several other songs that have by now become iconic like “Cherry Wine,” “From Eden,” and “Work Song”.
His second EP dropped in 2018, the gorgeous Nina Cried Power—and I can’t help but mention here what has to be one of my favorite songs of all time coming straight off of this EP, “NFWMB”. One time Hozier wrote and sang “If I was born as a blackthorn tree / I’d wanna be felled by you / Held by you / Fuel the pyre of your enemies,” and I’ve honestly never been the same ever since.
The last full album from Hozier dates back to 2019—and while Wasteland, Baby! is an incredible masterpiece that I could never get tired of listening to, the fandom at large was feeling the need for something new to cry on and alter everyone’s brain chemistry.
After the release of the EP Eat Your Young in March of 2023, Hozier has finally announced that his new album Unreal Unearth is set to be released on August 18, 2023. Queer people with catholic trauma everywhere rejoice, we are getting new anthems very soon.
“After a journey of some years, my new album Unreal Unearth will find its way to you on August 18th,” Hozier wrote in the caption of the Instagram post with which he announced the album’s release. “I’m proud of this record and enjoyed watching it come to life over the past year. Thank you as always for your support and patience while it was coming to fruition, it’s my great pleasure to share with you the release date at long last”.
And when I say that we are getting new anthems I do mean it. Rumor has it that Unreal Unearth is inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, the medieval narrative poem considered one of the most essential works in the entire canon of Italian literature. The poem follows Dante’s journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, meaning that if the rumor is true, there’ll be plenty of religious imagery to obsess about.
If you look at the Instagram slideshow with which Hozier teased the announcement of Unreal Unearth’s release date, you can see a series of images that are not very hard to associate with the nine circles of Hell—which are described by Dante in the first part of the Divine Comedy, the Inferno, as he travels through them.
The clock could be associated with the First Circle, that of Limbo. The glasses and scarf could be a disguise, and so be a symbol of the Eighth Circle, where the fraudulent and the malicious are punished. The open condom packet of course immediately brings to mind the Second Circle, that of Lust.
Then we see a broken compact mirror, which could have been shattered in a fit of anger and so be a nod to the Fifth Circle, where Dante finds the wrathful and the sullen. The snake is another pretty easy one, bringing back the story of the Garden of Eden and so the devil himself, who resides in the last and deepest circle of Hell, the Ninth, where Treachery is punished.
The hymnal book could be a reference to the Sixth Circle, where Heresy is punished. The silverware and the coins easily refer back to the Third and Fourth Circle respectively—the Third Circle is that of Gluttony, while both avaricious and prodigals are punished in the Fourth. Finally, the soldiers and cartridges immediately evoke the image of war and so are a symbol of the Seventh Circle, where the violent reside.
With these kinds of premises, I think we can all agree that the album will be one of those heart-wrenching and soul-shattering ones—and I personally can’t wait for August to be here. In the meantime, we can have a sample of what it will be like with the artist’s latest single, “Francesca,” which was released almost immediately after Unreal Unearth was announced.
(featured image: Island Records)
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