Hope D
Hope D | Credit: James Giles

Love Letter to a Record: Hope D on Hozier’s Self-Titled Album

Music Feeds’ Love Letter to a Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with the music they love and share stories about how it has influenced their lives. Here, Hope D reflects on the impact of the self-titled debut album from Irish musician Hozier (2014).

Brisbane/Meanjin artist Hope D has released her debut album, Clash of the Substance, which plays out like a queer coming-of-age story. Hope D has been working towards Clash of the Substance for more than half a decade. After gaining a following on YouTube, Hope D released her debut single, ‘Swim’, in 2019. Several more singles were to follow, including the Hottest 100 entry ‘Second’. Along the way, Hope D has appeared at Groovin the Moo, Falls and BIGSOUND.

Hope D’s Love Letter to Hozier

Hope D: I discovered Hozier from the absolute privilege and honour of seeing him play at Bluesfest on the 4th of April 2015. I wasn’t very keen on going to the festival, for reasons that are hilarious to me now, but my dad got our family tickets for an Easter holiday. It was raining and my dad told me I would like this artist named Hozier, and so we went and watched him begin at the Mojo tent in our raincoats and gumboots.

I was being petty and was uninterested at the time, but he began performing and I was so mesmerised that I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He began playing a song called ‘Like Real People Do’, which later became my favourite song of all time. He explained it as “A song about a love story between a grave robber and a corpse,” and from there I was intrigued, transfixed and inspired.

I fell in love instantly, and when I went home, I downloaded his album Hozier and used all my data to do it. I was listening to it over and over again, repeated it as I slept and listened to it with headphones on during the drive from Byron Bay to Brisbane.

When watching him perform, it hit me so hard and I just remember thinking, “That is exactly what I want to do.” I wanted to perform on stage and tell stories and make people feel the way I felt while watching him. It felt like my whole life had a purpose after seeing him live, which was to make music and tell stories – no matter how scary, vulnerable, specific or obscure they were.

Hozier – ‘Like Real People Do’

I dove into his lyrics more than I had ever looked into any artist’s lyrics, and was so impressed by his lyricism and the words he chose to use. He was exactly what I wanted to be. The darker lyrics he’d write empowered me and turned on a light within me that I didn’t even know I had.

He references people as sedatives and he refers to himself as a stray dog that will come back if you keep feeding it. These kinds of comparisons were so intriguing to me. Seeing and hearing someone else compare love to things that don’t meet the usual definitions of happiness, bliss and joy, it’s so real and it makes me feel so compelling when I do the same things with my songs.

There are a few songs from this record that resonate with me deeply through my interpretations of them. ‘Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene’ talks about a hard-to-get woman and the pleasures of the chase; ‘Someone New’ talks about falling in love with strangers and falling in love with multiple people for different reasons.

‘From Eden’ is about the story of Adam and Eve and the sly serpent that wooed Eve and curiously analysed her; ‘It Will Come Back’ is Hozier comparing himself to an animal that’s starving for love and attention; ‘Sedated’ makes references to love interests as drugs.

Hozier made me fall in love with music more than I ever thought I could. I am forever grateful to him and I got a tattoo of the Mojo tent at Bluesfest with the date I saw him. I owe him so much for awakening me to what I believe to be my true calling. I also owe it to my dad for taking me. We now joke about how reluctant I was to go, but I am so grateful that I got to see him there for the first time.

Hope D – ‘Hate Goodbyes’

Hope D Clash Of The Substance Tour 2023

  • Friday, 24th March – Max Watt’s, Melbourne VIC – 18+
  • Saturday, 25th March – Crowbar, Sydney NSW – 18+
  • Friday, 31st March – Rosemount Hotel, Perth WA – 18+
  • Saturday, 1st April – UniBar, Adelaide SA – Lic/AA
  • Thursday, 6th April – The Triffid, Brisbane QLD – Lic/AA

Further Reading

Hope D Announces 2023 National Album Tour Dates

Watch Hope D Cover ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears for Like a Version

The Best of Rock at BIGSOUND 2022

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