Hozier guides us through his upcoming album, 'Unreal Unearth'

'I was ready to work with other people's energies, having spent enough time with my own'
Audacy Check In with Hozier
Photo credit Audacy
By , Audacy

Joining host Brad Steiner today at the Hard Rock Hotel in New York City for a special Audacy Check In is Hozier, giving fans an intimate look at the singer’s brand new album, Unreal Unearth, arriving this summer.

LISTEN NOW: Audacy Check In with Hozier

"Take Me To Church" singer Hozier is getting set to drop his forthcoming album, Unreal Unearth, on August 18 following up his 2023 Eat Your Young EP. It's his first full collection of new music since 2019, and he's taking the tracks on the road at festivals and a headlining tour to share them with his loyal fans later this year. Be sure to grab your tickets right HERE.

Celebrating his 33rd birthday while at the same time promoting his latest ventures is admittedly a bit of a "me parade" at the moment for the Irish-born singer. "No, it's a lot of fun," he laughs. "I think I'm especially lucky because it's St. Patrick's Day as well. So, to be in New York and then it's Paddy's Day as well... you can sort of celebrate that with people, and people are already up to celebrating."

When thinking of his past success, which came screaming out of the gate 10 years ago, Hozier says he feels a sense of wonder at who that person was. "I think I'm blessed with an ability not to look back all too much," he admits, "and a sort of habit to avoid thinking too deeply about it. But the fact that it is 10 years is still a bit of a surprise, it kind of scares me to believe that. But yeah, being 23, I think I was blessed then... I didn't have an audience at all, I didn't have any expectations. I had no reason to think anyone would hear the song, so I was very free to just do whatever felt good at the time."

Hozier's approach for his new album, Unreal Unearth, arriving four years later certainly veered off that familiar course. "Writing for me was always something I did on my own," he explains, "a very isolated, solitary exercise. I will say on this one, I sort of opened up. It was post-pandemic, as well... I was ready to work with other people's energies, having spent enough time with my own."

"So, I jammed a lot of music," he continues, "in particular with Dan Tannenbaum our producer... we just made noise and it felt very old school, very free. It wasn't terribly methodical, it was just like, 'Let's see what happens.' I've never done that before."

Diving deeper into the upcoming record, Hozier admits there are quite a few references to poet Dante Alighieri's Inferno, but he says, "the way I structured the album, more so. That poem is about this guy who gets lost on a journey and the only way to get to the other side of this journey is helped by this other poet who lived long before him who walks him through Hell... He imagines that Hell has nine circles, and he walks through these nine circles."

Breaking down the process even further he explains, "I arranged the album kind of opening with a bit of a descent and then structured the themes of the songs into their nine circles, and then an emergence at the end of it."

It's a not-so-subtle reference to the ways we all had gone through the pandemic, the sacrifices made, and the myriad of changes that the entire world had gone through. "People lost things, a great deal," he says. Tying in the quest of Inferno to that experience, "felt like an interesting way to credit that without it being a lockdown album or a pandemic album. It just credits that journey of the last three years."

Perhaps the tenth level of Hell that Dante could never have foreseen was the emergence of Artificial Intelligence. While fully aware of the technology, it's not something that Hozier has dabbled with personally yet. "My friends have. I'm in a WhatsApp group, and every so often there will be," he says. "Poor ChatGPT is just asked to write horrendous and obscene things." And he's seen people sending him Hozier songs written by the program as well. “I wasn’t impressed," he admits. "I’d love to say, ‘Oh, it’s interesting.’ It’s not, it’s crap. It’s really boring.”

Hozier's Eat Your Young EP is out now. He's set to kick off the North American leg of his 2023 tour in St. Louis, MO on September 9 and will continue through New York City’s MSG, Denver’s Red Rocks, and more before concluding at L.A.’s Hollywood Bowl on November 4.

Don't miss Brad's full Audacy Check In with Hozier, and stay tuned for more conversations with your favorite artists on Audacy.com/Live.

WATCH NOW: Audacy Check In with Hozier


Listen to ALT Quiet Car and more on the free Audacy app

Listen to more of your favorite music on Audacy's Emo Kids, Alt Now, Rockternative, Drivin' Alt, New Wave Mix Tape, 90s and Chill, Alterna 00s, IndustriALTGreatest Guitarists, Greatest Drummers, and ALT Roots stations -- plus check out our talent-hosted Kevan Kenney's Music Discovery, Megan Holiday's My So Called '90s Playlist, and Scott Lowe on the Go's Post Modern Music Box.

LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign Up and Follow Audacy
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Featured Image Photo Credit: Audacy