by Oisin McCourt
Hozier (Andrew Hozier-Byrne), an Irish singer-songwriter from Bray, Co. Wicklow, has teamed up with Italian production house trio MEDUZA (Luca de Gregorio, Mattia Vitale and Simone Giani) for ‘Tell It To My Heart’, released on Friday, 29th October 2021.
This fits right into the mainstream world while being a collaboration that captures MEDUZA’s signature sound.
I had previously heard this in its follow-up ‘Paradise’, and it was because of working with another Irish artist in the shape and form of Dermot Kennedy that got it to No. 1 here in Ireland in October 2020.
The way that ‘Tell It To My Heart’ is set in an upbeat style can be seen through its tone but the song still carries Hozier’s darker vocals from his back catalogue and both elements work very well together, even though he has lack of experience in the actual genre.
The opening lyrics can make the theme of the song clear as can be, as Hozier’s lover is trying to keep herself locked away from him in what seems to be a deteriorating relationship.
He starts off with: ‘I can’t work you out / Are you thinking about something better?’ before he continues with dream-led thoughts in ‘The only time you smile is in the photographs’ and ‘Whatever time you have I’m not going to waste / Before we turn to strangers trying to love in the dark.’
The EDM scene in this Irish-Italian combo was certainly not expected, as ‘Tell It To My Heart’ differentiates itself from the slow-set that is ‘Take Me To Church’ or perhaps the more upbeat ‘Nina Cried Power’, which were taken from his last two albums ‘Hozier’ and ‘Wasteland, Baby!’ respectively.
Regardless of whatever song he lends his talent to the normalising soul, blues, gospel or rock genres, the vocals fit MEDUZA’s distinctive synths, basslines, and beats.
Having listened to this song multiple times, I noticed that when Hozier sang the chorus ‘Tell it to my heart’ for a second time, the beats were replaced by the sound of an actual beating heart.
This was in an effort for them to try and bring their style of house music back to the daytime fare, and this has become successful during their two-plus years on the go.
In the lyric video, a metal bust grows and takes shape around an actual beating heart, while a live performance video features Hozier singing (or rather Top of the Pops-style lip-syncing) in front of MEDUZA at the Rock of Cashel in Co Tipperary.
From the day that this song was released, I became immediately hooked as I have been a supporter of contemporary Irish music for many years, and it was great to hear it get Irish and international airplay.