Hozier’s ‘Eat Your Young’ is Decadent, and Dark

Tate Fonda, Contributing Writer

The Irish musician Andrew Hozier Byrne, or “Hozier,” has headlined his new EP with three words: “Eat Your Young.” The collection, which consists of three upbeat and lyrically rich tracks, was released on Saint Patrick’s day — and it’s true to his roots. Here, let’s break down each track, and give each its due time; in this project, Hozier keeps each song to under four minutes.

The title track, “Eat Your Young,” presents a lyrical tale which is seductive and horrific. Though these themes seem like different worlds, they commonly conjoin in Byrne’s music. “Eat Your Young” opens with a crying violin and stabilizing drums as Byrne trills a catchy melody. The dark verses are reminiscent of Byrne’s contribution to AMC’s “The Walking Dead” soundtrack, and his song “In a Week,” where he romanticizes bodily decomposition (a strange feat, at that). “Let me see the heat get to you,” sings Byrne, as he drags the story down to hellish depths. He sings of gluttony, or “puttin’ food on the table sellin’ bombs and guns,” to condemn the sin.  

 “All Things End,” is the second track on the EP. Byrne loves a catchy melody — but on “All Things End,” he indulges in the decadence of his deep, elegant voice. His patient, intentional vocals take the lead amidst a passionate choir and a simple piano line as he sings of conclusions. Whether it be the end of a relationship or a lifetime, we need not worry — “we begin again,” sings Byrne. As in these cyclical experiences, Byrne repeats the message of his affirming chorus: “Just knowing that everything will end won’t change our plans when we begin again.” A dramatic key change takes us to the song’s finish, which resounds with a religious, gospel-like sound. 

Byrne’s Irish background trickles through the last track on the EP, “Through Me (The Flood), where he frames the story of the loss brought by the COVID-19 pandemic in the structure of a folk-tale. “Through Me” adds to the small bank of tracks where Byrne’s Irish accent is heard. His enunciation carries the opening, alliterative lines: “Picture a man / Seen like a speck out from the shore / Swimming out beyond the breakers / Like he’s done his life before.”

The stanza reads like a poem, and makes for a satisfying, rhyming listen. The track progresses beyond this imaginative story to detail the process of conquering loss. When it feels as if you’ve lost, remember your place, says Hozier: “the world, it flows through me.”

“Eat Your Young” presents an overall invigorating taste of the music fans missed from Hozier. His poem-to-lyric writing style comprises his lyrically rich discography, which is both intensified and enriched by this new addition.