When it comes to blues, acts like Alabama Shakes and Gary Clark Jr. come to mind. The gravely voices, the crunch of the electric guitar—there’s a certain formula that we’re familiar with when we discuss that genre.
And then you have someone like singer/songwriter Hozier, who’s got a voice that’s smooth as it is powerfully emotive. It’s not crackling, and it’s not backed by the reverb of the guitar, per se. Rather, “Take Me To Church” is solely driven by his dramatic vocals that really give you a sense of desperate yearning and heartbreak. Some of Hozier’s music is even borderline folk, so it doesn’t sound like your traditional blues from the Deep South, but it’ll sure as hell make you feel. After all, isn’t that the whole point?
This appears on Hozier’s debut EP of the same title, which you can stream and download at his Bandcamp.