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Illustration by Madison Cohen

Irish singer-songwriter Hozier, had not released any new music since the 2019 release of his album, “Wasteland, Baby!” — that is, until Oct. 29. The musician teamed up with the dance/electronic production trio, Meduza, to create the experience that is “Tell It To My Heart.”

In contrast to many of Hozier’s prior releases, “Tell It To My Heart” exudes an electronic energy that, without hesitation, transports listeners to a dance floor filled with flashing lights and people dancing their hearts out. I can easily picture a DJ playing this song on its own, or as a remix in a club sometime soon. Combining Meduza’s electronic style with Hozier’s vocals was not something I would have suggested or expected but, nonetheless, I am thoroughly impressed.

Shortly after releasing “Tell It To My Heart” Hozier tweeted a brief explanation of the song, as well as elaborating on why he and Meduza decided to release it.

“After a long period of people missing the buzz of dance floors and live electronic music, @MeduzaMusic reached out with a song,” Hozier tweeted. “It felt the right time to lend my voice to a project outside my comfort zone.”

The song begins semi-softly, with echoes of Hozier’s voice and a soft background of synthesized beats. As Hozier’s beginning vocals come into full focus, a strong, almost metronomic beat fills the background — alluding to a heartbeat — adding to the dance style of Meduza’s music. Though the musical aspects of “Tell It To My Heart” may differ from Hozier’s previous, typically acoustically inclined, songs, the emotions in the lyrics scream Hozier.

“I can work you out / Are you thinkin’ ’bout somethin’ better? / Holdin’ on to you / While you drag me through stormy weather / The only time you smile is in the photograph / And when I pull you close it’s like you’re holdin’ back,” Hozier sings in the first verse.

The lyrics are unequivocally Hozier. While it may not be as obvious when listeners first hear the song, due to the electronic dance music surrounding it, the lyrics are extremely emotional and tell the story of someone who feels their partner is slipping away from them.

The line “Tell it to my heart” reminds me of the phrase “say it to my face” because throughout the song, it is clear the protagonist knows they are losing their partner. They don’t know why, but they can feel the distance that has grown between them, despite the protagonist’s best efforts. Although they already have a gut feeling of what’s happening, the protagonist needs their partner to tell them the truth — directly. This truth may provide them closure, confirmation or both, so they can move forward again instead of being dragged behind a partner who is no longer interested in the relationship.

As always, Hozier does an incredible job of conveying this heartbreaking feeling in the form of a song. Meduza’s electronic music makes for an interesting contrast to Hozier’s saddened lyrics. These two sides of “Tell It To My Heart’’ create dual concepts of the same song and therefore a double-edged sword of mastery.

 

Rating: 10/10

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