Andrew Hozier-Byrne's voice is so rich, so vital and so soulful, I'm certain I'll follow his music for a long time to come. The 24-year-old Irishman, who performs under the name Hozier, opens this set with the brilliant and instantly grabby song "Take Me to Church," about passion, sex and religion.
Hozier's music is based in the blues, and you'll hear the singer-guitarist's love for Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker during the second song he performs here. His band — piano, guitar, percussion — steps aside for the swampy "To Be Alone," in which the blues provide a starting place for his high, yearning vocals and deep questioning. Hozier has just two EPs out, and both have me yearning to hear more. --BOB BOILEN
"Take Me To Church"
"To Be Alone"
Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Olivia Merrion; Production Assistant: Alex Schelldorf; photo by Alex Schelldorf/NPR