Irish folk rock singer-songwriter Hozier dropped his latest album, “Unreal Unearth”, and its lyrics originate from a combination of Greek mythology and Dante’s “Inferno.”
Hozier first rose to fame in 2014 with his hit song “Take Me To Church.” The singer-songwriter went on to receive several Grammy nominations and garner critical acclaim for his intricate songwriting. Hozier continues to also attract praise for his progressive beliefs. In 2022, after the overturn of Roe v. Wade in the U.S., the singer dropped “Swan Upon Leda.” The track references the centuries long struggle for women’s rights and body autonomy, told through the lens of the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan.
Hozier’s combination of American and Irish cultural references was taken to another level with “Unreal Unearth,” which seamlessly blended his own experiences with popular Greek myths and the nine circles of the underworld in Dante’s “Inferno.”
The singer’s impassioned vocals and folksy production coupled with his poetic praise for women within his lyrics has rapidly grown a fanbase of young women on social media. Now, a new fanbase of the singer emerges–the literary forces of BookTok.
BookTok Connects The Dots
BookTok, or the side of TikTok on which avid readers analyze books, share reviews and dream casting for film and television adaptations, has taken a new liking to Hozier amid the new album. The singer has spoken at length about his inspirations behind several tracks on “Unreal Unearth”, and classic literature buffs are connecting the dots for newer fans of the artist or literary genre.
Hozier recounted first reading the extensive epic at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when he was home in County Wicklow, Ireland. He felt that several passages resonated with him given the uncertainty in the world at the time.
Dante’s “Inferno” features the ancient Roman poet Virgil guiding Dante through Hell. The story is the first part of Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy” and was written in the 14th century. Numerous films, television shows, and other songs have referenced the storyline in recent decades, but Hozier’s album is sparking a Gen Z interest in the early renaissance era work.
I cannot wait for this album and you best believe there will be literary analysis ! #booktok #thedivinecomedy #hozier #inferno #dantesinferno #literature #classics #littok #penguinclassics #caityreads
The singer’s in-depth descriptions of the book have young readers ordering new copies and annotating them based on Hozier’s album.
Elsewhere, some music fans vow to get library cards to pick up the book before listening to the album.
For longtime avid readers already familiar with the story, Hozier’s track “Francesca” on the album allows for a new perspective given to one of the book’s only female characters. The singer’s newfangled depiction of Francesca is garnering praise for its more sympathetic approach.
(Dante’s portrayal of Francesca is actually very sympathetic) I don’t often talk about ‘Inferno’, but when I do, it’s inspired by Hozier. Greatest artist of our generation. #medievaltiktok #hozier #hozierlyrics #dante #inferno
Hozier will soon embark on the “Unreal Unearth” tour, beginning August 27, with support from Madison Cunningham. Tickets are available for purchase here.