After nearly a year without the new music, Irish singer-songwriter Hozier has finally delivered the long-awaited first single to his upcoming album Unreal Unearth entitled ‘Swan Upon Leda’.
The title refers to the mythological story of Leda and the Swan, also the subject of a W.B. Yeats poem. Yeats, a known influence on Hozier, likens the rape of Leda to the plight of Irish people under British rule. Hozier also alludes to this, referencing Setanta as a symbol of Irish Nationalism. He similarly draws parallels to the plight of women under the patriarchy, and how forced births via the imposition of religious-based legal policy written by men is the “Swan upon Leda, occupier on ancient land.”
Hozier can often be found on moody, dark academia playlists, but his influences including Mavis Staples and Nina Simone, and indeed the social consciousness in his own work, firmly place him as a protest musician in his own right.
A half star was removed only because for as long as fans have waited for new music, a surprise drop à la Lemonade would have been preferable. However, if the whole album is going to be anything like this single, it will be well worth the wait.