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Take Me to Hell: Hozier takes on Dante’s ‘Inferno’ with new ’Unreal Unearth’ album

ABC/Paula Lobo

First he took you to church, and now Hozier‘s taking you to Hell.

The Irish musician’s new album, Unreal Unearth, is loosely based on Dante‘s Inferno. As Hozier tells ABC Audio, he didn’t find himself stretching too much in writing songs that might reflect a 14th century epic poem depicting the nine circles of Hell.

“There’s something freeing about using themes like that,” Hozier says. “They’re quite universal, and I find we write songs about that all the time.”

“I didn’t need to work too hard to find a way to write a song about lust or to write a song about greed,” he adds. “Those were sentiments that I wanted to get out of me, anyway.”

Musically, however, Unreal Unearth took Hozier into a lot of uncharted territory, resulting in a dynamic, almost chaotic soundscape that certainly fits in with its hellish setting.

“It felt strange to hem it into one type of sound, or one type of style or stylistic approach,” Hozier says.

The diversity of sounds on Unreal Unearth may have also come from Hozier taking a more collaborative, less early Foo Fighters Dave Grohl-approach to the album.

“A lot of the producers that I was working with were also magnificent musicians, really, really fantastic musicians,” Hozier says. “So it was the first time that I sorta let go of the need to play every instrument.”

Unreal Unearth is out now. It includes the single “Eat Your Young.”

Hozier will launch a U.S. tour in support of Unreal Unearth September 9 in St. Louis.

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