Whetting Your Appetite for More: “Eat Your Young” Review

With his powerful lyrics and enchanting backing instrumentals, Hozier defends his place in music history with a jaw-dropping EP release.


Bee Bishop, Editor in Chief

Hozier is back and with a vengeance. With a new EP called “Eat Your Young,” the Irish musician lives up to his legacy with a promise of a full album by the end of the year. While only having three songs, “Eat Your Young” delivers on the ethereal sound and gut-punching lyrics I have come to associate with Hozier music. 

Hozier debuted in 2014 and is best known for his song “Take Me to Church,” which has amassed almost 2 billion listens on Spotify. Despite the longevity of his career, he only has two studio albums, making the announcement of a third later this year all the more exciting. Keeping up with the pattern he established in his early career, Hozier released an EP on March 17 to whet the appetite of his fans.

First on the EP is the titular song “Eat Your Young,” and has rightfully earned its place as the namesake. While the other songs are equal in terms of quality, “Eat Your Young” is by far the catchiest and most memorable out of the three songs. The melody is ghostly and enchanting, with Hozier singing relatively high notes in his vocal register to create the effect. The backing piano and string are aided by a choir to create a cinematic feel to the song. The end result is a song that sounds like a Bond theme that carries a powerful message that could be related to an anti-war or anti-capitalistic theme. However, the end of the song feels rather abrupt, leaving the audience wanting for more of the song, but overall, Hozier adds another fulfilling and stunning song to his repertoire. 

“All Things End” is the second song on the EP and completely switches up the tone. The song is most comparable to a R&B ballad, with Hozier crooning throughout most of the song before changing key for the final chorus and belting out notes for the last few seconds. Joining him in this revival of the melody is a choir that strengthens the sound and changes the vibe of the song from nostalgia about the inevitability of an ending of a relationship to a hopeful declaration: Even though all things end, that shouldn’t stop people from continuing forward with their plans, to push through the fear. 

“Through Me (The Flood)” is the third and final song on the EP. It pulls a lot from the blues style that Hozier is well known for, with a drum beat that carries the chorus and the energy of the song. The song starts soft and slow, but quickly picks up for the first chorus. The song is about grief and loss, with Hozier having written the song during the pandemic, and the lyrics are some of the most poetic out of any of the songs with Hozier singing: “Measure the silence of a house/The unheard footsteps at the doorway/The unemployment of the mouth” in the fourth verse. While the backing instrumentals may seem out of place, being too energetic for the topic, Hozier’s soulful voice and brilliant lyrics really put this song over the top. 

The one common issue through the songs is the difficulty picking out individual lyrics. While Hozier is known for his wonderfully artistic words, his enunciation is not always the best. For some songs, like “All Things End,” this effect works because the clarity of the chorus pulls it away from the rest of the piece. For others like “Eat Your Young,” it muddles the meaning of the song; “Eat Your Young” starts with the lines, “I’m starvin’, darlin’/Let me put my lips to something/Let me wrap my teeth around the world,” which is some of the easiest lyrics to decipher. 

The lyrics are rather suggestive, but the song is really an allusion to a satirical paper from 1729 written by Jonathan Swift called “A Modest Proposal.” The paper states that starving and impoverished Irish peasants should sell their children to the rich English landowners to be cannibalized in order to help the rest of the family survive. “Eat Your Young” carries that same critique of the greedy nature of the wealthy and how in the end, it’s easier to “Eat Your Young” rather than fight against the upper class. This contrasts with the sensual Bond-theme-like nature of the song. 

On the flip side, it creates a fun challenge for the listener to figure out what Hozier is singing about and often can lead people down a rabbit hole to more interesting topics. And even if you aren’t the type to enjoy analyzing a song every time it comes on, the vibes or musical elements of the song are still worth listening to. 

All in all, regardless of muddled vocals, Hozier’s artistry and mastery over lyrics and music is still excellently displayed in his latest release. “Eat Your Young” carries his signature brand of whimsy and hard-hitting critiques and finds its home among his other hits. 

The “Eat Your Young” EP is out now. Be sure to listen on Spotify and keep your ear to the ground for Hozier’s new album releasing later this year.