EP Review: Hozier’s “Eat Your Young” is a bright spot in a bleak winter

Hozier continues his tradition of bringing macabre imagery to his songs with a joyful tone of voice, as if you can hear his smile while he’s singing. 


Hozier’s “Eat Your Young” EP cover.

Josie Dent, Staff Writer

Irish singer-songwriter Hozier released his most recent EP “Eat Your Young” on March 17, 2023, ahead of a third studio album, “Unreal Unearth,” set for release later this year. Despite promising the new album would be released in 2022, the single “Swan Upon Leda” has been the only new music from Hozier since his 2018 album “Wasteland, Baby!” Hozier fans have made it clear that “Eat Your Young” couldn’t come soon enough. 

The EP is built on themes of deep love and yearning. Hozier skillfully crafts stories with his powerful vocals and lyrics. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Hozier explained he pulled inspiration from Dante’s “Inferno” to create the songs based on various circles of Hell.

Based on the third circle of Hell in Dante’s “Inferno,” the EP’s titular track builds a story around gluttony. With his signature sultry voice, Hozier sings, “I’m starving, darling / Let me put my lips to something.” Both the sensuous lyrics and instrumentals are reminiscent of his second album, “Wasteland, Baby!” The catchy tune hides some of Hozier’s gruesome lyrics as he sings, “skinning the children for the war drum.”

Hozier continues his tradition of bringing macabre imagery to his songs with a joyful tone of voice, as if you can hear his smile while he’s singing. 

 “All Things End” is slower, with Hozier’s soulful voice and enchanting backup vocals making the song feel like a slow dance at the end of a long night. The instrumentals take a backseat in this track, letting the vocals take over. The result is powerful, with more attention being paid to the hopelessness in the lyrics.

Hozier laments the inevitable end of a relationship when he sings, “And all things end / All that we intend is scrawled in sand.” Yet he remains hopeful, maintaining that “we begin again.”

Hozier is joined by a gospel choir towards the end, his voice combining with many others, just as powerful, resulting in a rich harmony evoking the image of a gospel choir.

The final track of the EP, “Through Me (The Flood),” touches on loss and grief. Opening with distorted instrumentals, there’s a buildup to a strong chorus, showcasing Hozier’s beautiful vocals. This is the only track off the EP not to reference a circle of Hell, but it’s hard to ignore the biblical implications of the title.

Much of Hozier’s past music has drawn from religion, from his hit “Take Me to Church” to the more recent “Movement.” Hozier sings of the loss of a loved one, comparing the struggle against grief to being trapped in a flood. He sings, “he feels the rising of a wave and knows at once / He will not weather it,” The song is a haunting reminder that to live in this world is to experience unspeakable grief. 

Hozier’s EP was released at the perfect time. During the bleak winter, it’s a spark of brightness to get us up and going, thinking about what is yet to come.