It would be easy to mistake Hozier’s “Dinner & Diatribes” for a love song if you happened to miss viewing the music video.
Occult vocalization opens over a candle lit dinner table in a dark room. Sitting atop, fanged animal skulls and raw meat glint on silverware while the background looms with an oil painting depicting some quiet horror. It’s clear something very bad is happening here.
For the band best known for taking us to church, the musical tone is not a far departure from the sort of radio and wedding reception friendly fare we’ve come to expect of Hozier. Known for walking a rarified path between pop stardom and soulful Folk Rock, the new album ‘Wasteland, Baby!’ picks up where the infamous 2013 release left off- only this time, it’s perhaps a bit darker.
The drum beat swells as the black-toothed host devours a kabob with a smirk to his dinner guest. In a reprisal of her role as a wide-eyed ingénue, Anya Taylor-Joy is recognizable from recent roles in iconic horror films The Witch and Morgan. She approaches the table slowly, eyes glinting with terror. As she, the ill-fated guest is manipulated, twisted, and turned upside down, the lyrics chant in ironic contrast to the horrific scene:
That’s the kind of love
I’ve been dreaming of
This is not director Anthony Byrne’s first collaboration with Hozier, and the synergy is palpable. Best known for horror film ’In Darkness’ and series ‘Peaky Blinders’, he wraps a menacingly seductive aesthetic around the video, stylishly insulating the content from ever becoming truly frightening. While it’s unclear if this dark fairy tale is one of revenge or exorcism, watching our heroine get her just desserts is a sneakily pleasant watch.