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Hozier’s “I, Carrion (Icarian):” The most gosh darn beautiful thing I have ever heard

By Page Murrell


If you randomly happen to be anything like me, then there’s one thing on your mind at all times: Hozier’s song “I, Carrion (Icarian)” from his most recent album Unreal, Unearth. (Duh.) And if you’re nothing like me, you probably have better things to do…but this is about me. Me and Hozier. 


Unreal, Unearth was released in August, making it his newest musical masterpiece. Through the album’s 16 tracks, Hozier pieces together a narrative inspired by the Nine Circles of Hell in Dante’s  “Inferno.” Naturally, this creates a pretty epic odyssey as listeners move throughout the tracks, each one a new narrative that draws parallels between Dante’s legendary vision and Hozier’s contemporary struggles and triumphs. The rhythmic pulse of the music serves as the heartbeat of the descent and the lyrics are poetic commentary on the sins and virtues that populate each circle. It’s enough to make a grown girl cry.


I have never read Dante’s “Inferno,” nor have I ever wanted to, because I guess you could say I rock with contemporary struggles and triumphs more, especially when sung to me by Hozier. Anyways, I’ll admit that when I first listened to the first few songs, I was questioning whether or not I would like the rest of the album and deeply saddened by the thought of not loving anything my guy (Hozier) put out there for me. And then the fifth track began:“If the wind turns, if I hit a squall, allow the ground to find its brutal way to me.” And that is how the greatest listening experience of my life began, and never ended. 


The track that I am referring to is “I, Carrion (Icarian),”  for those who are interested. The title is an obvious reference to the Greek myth of Icarus, the boy who flew too close to the Sun, which Hozier drew inspiration from. According to Greekymythology.com, Icarus and his father were locked in a tower by the King. His father, the master craftsman that he is, makes each of them a pair of wings so that they can escape. He teaches Icarus how to fly and warns him not to fly too close to the Sun because it would melt the wax holding his wings together. Newsflash: he flies too close to the Sun. His wings melt, he falls into the ocean, and drowns. The story is often interpreted as a warning about excessive pride and carelessness. However, Hozier aims to reimagine the story. 


Hozier explains that this song tries to imagine that Icarus was so “enamored and so breathless and so ectatic in moments that he felt the air brushing him, that he never knew he died.” Icarus wakes up and is in complete denial that he is dead after being in such a place of ecstasy. Mix in a little love song vibes, and you got yourself track five of Unreal, Unearth. It’s magnificent. 


So yea, this is all I’ve been listening to for the past few months and there is no foreseeable end in sight. 



TLDR; I think it’s pretty cool of Hozier to bless us with the beautiful masterpiece that is “I, Carrion (Icarian),” but that’s just me. 


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