Two New Music Releases This Friday: Hozier and Olivia Rodrigo

Top Image Credit: Julia Johnson
/ Bottom Image Credit: Polydor Records / Made with Canva.
Top Image Credit: Julia Johnson / Bottom Image Credit: Polydor Records / Made with Canva.

Irish alternative folk artist Hozier and American pop-rock singer Olivia Rodrigo, two of the most popular artists among young people right now, both have highly anticipated music dropping this Friday, March 22nd. Hozier is releasing his new EP, Unheard, and Olivia Rodrigo is releasing the deluxe version of her latest album, GUTS, dubbed GUTS (spilled).

The Build-Up to Hozier’s New EP, Unheard

Hozier is still currently touring for his most recent album, Unreal Unearth. The concept album was inspired by the poem “Dante’s Inferno,” and each song corresponds to one of the circles of Hell and its respective cardinal sin. Hozier blends the genres of Irish folk, American gospel, blues, and alternative rock to deliver a variety of moving and emotional tracks. Loyal fans flocked to buy tour tickets as his teaser singles dropped before the full album was even released. They loved what they heard from singles such as “Eat Your Young,” and were also still reeling from his self-titled debut album’s smash hits such as “Take Me to Church,” as well as from his sophomore album, Wasteland, Baby!, that boasted more relaxed fan favorites like “Movement.” The full Unreal Unearth album proved to be similarly successful to its pre-released singles, with other tracks like “Francesca” and “De Selby (Part 2)” gaining much popularity.

Hozier’s Unreal Unearth tour, which began in June of 2023, has been wildly successful, selling out existing shows and adding many additional dates at large festivals, as well as dates in cities he’s already traveled to. The overwhelmingly positive response to this tour and album encouraged Hozier to prepare for the release of an EP called Unheard. It’s been speculated by fans that Unheard consists of the “reject songs” of Unreal Unearth. They think the songs were originally created by Hozier with the intention of putting them on the album, but that he didn’t feel they fit the concept to a tee. Since an EP is a shorter version of an album (ranging anywhere from two to eight songs) Hozier was, indeed, likely saving a few Unreal Unearth “rejects” he enjoyed to release them at a later date. 

On March 14th, Hozier announced on all social media platforms that his new EP will consist of four new songs: “Too Sweet,” “Empire Now,” “Fare Well,” and “Wildflower and Barley.” This started a frenzy on its own, but Hozier’s management had already been slowly releasing snippets of “Too Sweet” on social media. The internet had exploded with users raving about the song, obsessed with its catchy melody and lyrics. Fans and new listeners alike are already analyzing the song and tying it back to his past albums. The lyrics “I take my whiskey neat / my coffee black in my bed at three / you’re too sweet for me” have been all over everyone’s For You Page on TikTok, causing this EP to become more and more anticipated by the day, with all itching for the 22nd to come sooner.

Olivia Rodrigo’s Highly Anticipated GUTS (spilled)

Olivia Rodrigo, a former Disney Channel star, has been making waves in the music industry ever since the release of her freshman album, Sour, in May of 2021. The pop-rock singer came out of left field with chart-topping hits like “drivers license” and “good 4 u,” providing a new, fresh kind of sound. She drew inspiration from artists like Taylor Swift, Paramore, Lorde, Avril Lavigne, and Hole, but created music that was a lovechild of their different genres and styles to craft something uniquely her own. Listeners were captivated by her songwriting abilities and fun image, and loved the idea of a polished Disney star turning into a rock star who’s a little risqué.

Rodrigo released her second album, GUTS, just this past September. Her teaser single, “vampire,” turned into a hit overnight, leaving fans obsessed with her heartfelt but slightly raunchy take on a draining relationship. When the full album hit shelves, fans were extremely pleased with her incorporation of a more rock ‘n roll sound that featured passionate vocals, keeping hits like “ballad of a homeschooled girl,” “bad idea right?,” and “get him back!” on repeat. The success of her sophomore album led her to begin the first leg of her GUTS world tour in February of this year, selling out venues across America and Europe. 

As certain fans began to purchase their GUTS vinyl records, they noticed that different color variants of the record each had a different bonus track that wasn’t on the regular album. Fans who got the dark blue vinyl got a song called “stranger,” the white vinyl had a song called “scared of my guitar,” the purple vinyl had “girl i’ve always been,” and every other variant available had “obsessed.” Many listeners were ecstatic at this “easter egg” left by Olivia, loving what they heard and begging for the bonus tracks to be released for streaming. It’s evident that Rodrigo was planning the release of these new songs, but fans weren’t quite sure of when. That was until she announced the deluxe version of GUTS, or GUTS (spilled), on Tuesday, March 19th, during her show at the United Center in Chicago. She said that the expanded version, featuring the four bonus tracks, plus another called “so american,” would be released on Friday, March 22nd for all to hear.

Big Day For Music

This Friday is going to mark the birth of many new chart-toppers. Both Hozier and Olivia Rodrigo have mastered the art of teasing unreleased songs, getting fans hooked, and giving the people what they want, so there’s no doubt that Unheard and GUTS (spilled) will be infiltrating a lot of playlists on the 22nd.

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