Singer-songwriter Hozier worked past his three o’clock bedtime to release his long-anticipated EP Unheard. 

The project features four unreleased songs made during his “Unreal Unearth” album sessions. The artist — typically known for his bluesy-folk undertones and a fresh coat of Irish twang —  did not fall short of his trademark. 

“Too Sweet,” kickstarts the EP and shamelessly leaves us with an untapped feeling of yearning. Before its official release, the song circulated on TikTok and super fans held on tight to the 30-second leaked snippet

Between Hozier’s deep rasp, the track’s jazz-meets-the-blues instrumentals and lyrics about relationship compatibility — the song reflects a story of the contrast between maturity and lifestyle. The heavy-handed electric guitar riffs paired with an upbeat tone perfectly speak to this storyline. 

This song was made for cruising down the road in Arizona, hands flying out the window to a brown and burnt orange landscape. Or a night with friends screaming lyrics that resonate with your last breakup.The tired-of-conforming boyfriend narrative finds a home in the catchy chorus and pre-chorus, “Maybe I’ll wait / Until that day / I’d rather take my whiskey neat.

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“Wildflower and Barley” follows with a slower vibe and truly takes the time to showcase the exceptional, drawn-out vocals Hozier normally only teases with. 

The pace picks up as songstress Allison Russell’s higher-pitched voice joins in and slows back down for the close. The feeling we all shamefully chase — nostalgia — is successfully jam-packed in each layer of sound. 

In the third song, “Empire Now,” Hozier pays homage to his home country of Ireland as the lyrics sing about the country’s independence from the U.K. with the repetitive one-liner “One hundred years from the empire now.”

A cinematic tone permeates the entire track. With each harsh chord and echo, I’m transported into a legendary battle scene or to the end credits of an action movie. 

Nonetheless, this eclectic style could certainly be categorized as a risk, but is redeemed by the deep history packed into each word.

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“Fare Well,” the finale, is just that — an edgy, unorthodox departure. This happy goodbye should be played during those summer days when rain has a smell and the air is cool. 

The upbeat overproduction of the song can be overlooked by the heartfelt lyrics — perfect for a reluctant ending and unfortunate beginning of a possible hiatus, “Critic-hopin’-to-be-remembered wouldn’t farewell / Out here tryin’ to feel good again.” 

Hozier shows his versatility beautifully in this EP. In a short span of four songs, he exerts confidence through each riff, chord and drum. The clarity of his vocals only improves after each release.