EP Review: Eat Your Young by Hozier
By Dianne Miranda, April 18 2023—
After four long years, except for the release of a couple of singles, Hozier is back with a long-awaited three-song EP titled Eat Your Young. The EP was released on March 17, on the artist’s birthday and St. Patrick’s Day. This is his first big release since the 2019 album Wasteland, Baby! The EP precedes the release of a number of songs over the coming months followed by the full album Unreal Unearth which will be released in late summer.
Hozier revealed in a TikTok that “Eat Your Young” and “All Things End” allude to two of the nine circles of Hell, gluttony and heresy, respectively. The songs in the EP examine themes of primal urges and hunger, loss and death and tensions and contradictions of contemporary society.
“Eat Your Young”
Hozier, through his storytelling of incredible songwriting, examines gluttony in the context of consumerism and war. The song starts with a playful synth and slow heavy drum kick with vocals drenched with reverb. The narrator here is taking pleasure in acquiring resources or wealth with the sense of urgency to succeed. As Hozier mentioned, the narrator is “destroying in what they can destroy, damn the expense.” They are unreliable and destructive which speaks to a sense of ambition and drive but also a ruthless and self-serving approach at the same time. The unity and balance of the harmonies and the instrumentalization clue listeners to the narrator’s descent into this raw, feral and hungry frenzy. “Eat Your Young” ends with a long instrumental of a soft and calming organ with hints of high notes in what sounds like the welcome of a never-ending sinister loop. Hozier truly has a sound so unique and his ability to masterfully write haunting lyrics and melody lines is a gift that becomes so prominent if listeners have “Eat Your Young” on repeat.
“All Things End”
“All Things End” is about a breakup, and Hozier mentioned he “suppose[s] which always seems like heresy.” Despite the song’s very doom-filled and gloomy title, the song is filled with a very light, reassuring and intimate feeling. Hozier alludes to the idea that life is meant to be lived. Despite knowing that everything will end and that we do not like that, this should not change and stop us from truly living and experiencing life, love and pain. The gospel style of the chorus suggests that there is this acceptance of the end of a relationship — there does not exist an anger but rather an embrace for the end. It feels like the listener is standing in the eye of the surrounding tornado of a choir and slowly being lifted out to see the light at the top. By the end of the song, listeners are left with a new enthusiasm for life.
“Through Me (The Flood)”
The third and final track of this EP, as the artist mentioned, was written in the “very early parts of the pandemic, where it was still scary” and when he had the chance to reflect on death and loss. The track is driven by a steady drumming and soulful electric guitar melody that seems to reflect human endurance and perseverance. These upbeat musical elements seem to celebrate our strengths as humans and that such attempts to survive — our humanity — is enough to be celebrated. The instrumentals, especially evident in the driving beat, feel like chaos, yet there’s a passion that flows through Hozier’s vocals. There is this realization that the narrator is in fact not standing alone and not a separate entity watching the world from the outside, rather they are an extension of it and that it flows through them.
Hozier has been captivating listeners since the release of “Take Me To Church” in 2013 and the self-titled album Hozier in 2014 through his lyrical depth and multifaceted poetry, captivating and enchanting melodies and incredible vocal range. This EP marks his glorious long-awaited return leaving fans and listeners excited for the release of Unreal Unearth and his upcoming tour, which includes three dates for Canada in Toronto, Quebec and Vancouver.