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Hozier At The Troubadour: Show Review

Katie Buenneke |
May 21, 2014 | 3:50 p.m. PDT

Theater Editor

Hozier is a quiet man with a huge voice.

The 24 year-old’s sold-out concert at the Troubadour last night was a study in contradictions. Hozier, an Irish musician who’s been getting a lot of airplay on KCRW recently, drinks tea, not whisky, like you’d expect of a blues musician. He sings songs that are achingly full of longing, but when he talks into the microphone between songs, he mumbles so quietly it’s almost impossible to hear him.

While his success and ability to draw a crowd seems to surprise him—and he truly does seem humble up on stage, not like he’s feigning humility to seem more approachable—it shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s listened to him sing. Hozier’s voice is raw, but surprisingly resonant, echoing out from his soul into the hearts the appreciative and rapt crowd. “Take Me to Church,” his anthem about worshipping a lover, is the kind of song that grabs your attention, that makes you sit up and take notice, regardless of whatever else you may be doing.

Hozier comes from a choral background, and his voice is impressive and haunting, but he could benefit from some voice lessons to fine-tune a few vocal issues. The power of both “Take Me to Church” and “From Eden,” which are both soaring songs, was lessened by his struggles with the songs’ higher notes.

Those small issues aside, Hozier possesses a considerable amount of raw talent. Listening to his EPs is proof positive that he’s an artist with plenty to say, and the skill to craft truly good songs. Once he finesses his stage persona (or at least convinces the audio guys to turn up his microphone between songs so that the audience can actually hear him) and works out a few vocal kinks, he may just take the world by storm. In his song “Someone New,” he croons, “I fall in love just a little, oh a little bit every day with someone new,” but it seems likelier that every day, someone new will be falling in love with Hozier’s music.

Read more of NT's show reviews here.

Reach Theater Editor Katie here; follow her on Twitter here.



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