Earlier this fall, I was lucky enough to sit down with Hozier before his show at Ascend Amphitheater.
Hozier is a songwriter who has perfected the art of storytelling and scene painting in his songs, especially in the newest record, Unreal Unearth. We begin to discuss his writing, and the journey he wanted to take his listeners on throughout the album. Drawing connections to Dante’s Inferno, his fascination with the story is clear just through the way he talked about it.
As we continued, we remembered quarantining, and the initial strike of COVID in 2020. He explains that many of the songs on the record are products of isolation, many being refined for the record. We examine the struggles of working on music during a worldwide lockdown, and how his environment at that time influenced the tracks that made it to the album, which again, strangely mirrored the story of Dante.
With almost half of his touring band being Nashville natives, this seemed like a hometown show for many of them. But the show was a bit special for everyone: the band spent a month rehearsing for the tour right here in Music City back in January. This was a triumphant return for the Unreal Unearth Tour.
It was such an honor to be one of the firsts to talk to him about his collaboration with Noah Kahan, especially because their duet was just recorded and released. Their performance at Ascend seemed to be momentous for both of them: Hozier has served as a long-time inspiration for Kahan, and has since praised Kahan’s songwriting and showmanship.
A one-on-one with Hozier was pretty much exactly what you’d expect it to be. He kept a calm demeanor throughout that seemed to be contagious. He is full of kind words, stories, and a walking inspiration. You can listen to our full interview down below:
Photos by Lauren Kokaska