Love and Loss and How to Move Forward Regardless
The epic, lifting, bright-sultry movie trailer/Bond film feel of “Eat Your Young” opens this EP with a sizzle, outlining the bone-deep hunger present in domestic love and life and establishing immediate anticipation for the story that will follow.
That energy, whizzing through the air, drains down into a remarkably clean, lonely breakup song - “All Things End,” which, in a total 180 to what we’ve come to expect from Hozier, brings forth the image of an uninhabited, sparsely furnished contemporary-style penthouse apartment with its sparing, keyboard-heavy accompaniment and cutting clarity. It feels like a huge departure from the green, mythic, topsoil-rich hymns of love we know him for until the end, where that familiar gospel chorus joins him, sending the track out on a swelling wave of hope and community.
That wave becomes literal in the final act (and my favorite of the EP), “Through Me (The Flood),” opening with a lone man swimming out into the storm-tossed sea to tell a tale of perseverance, immeasurable depths, and the interconnectedness of all things. Of the three tracks it feels closest, tonally, to his established style, metaphor-rich and gritty with a powerfully drumming pulse and a combination of soaring and humming vocals. The bog man returns us to the earth once again in the second stanza, and by the end of the EP we are granted the knowledge that, while all things end, they remain a part of us (and us, a part of them).