Following the release of his self-titled album and the success of his single, “Take Me To Church,” Hozier’s music video for “From Eden” proves once again that this artist from Wicklow, Ireland is on his way to worldwide recognition. The video stars Hozier himself, as well as fellow Irish actress, Katie McGrath, who has previously worked in TV shows such as Merlin and Dracula.
The video opens with the couple breaking into a house in the middle of the night, but before we see them entering, the song starts to play, along with the gentle sounds of the guitar. As Hozier sings, “Babe, there’s something tragic about you / Something so magic about you,” we see the video cut to a shot of the couple riding in the middle of an empty highway with a child in the front seat. The lighting in this scene creates an idyllic, almost dreamlike quality to the video as we watch the family cruise through without a single bump on the road.
One of this video’s strengths is the way the music and lyrics manage to perfectly illustrate the mood of the scene it plays in. When their car stops at a gas station, the music comes to an abrupt halt— just like the way the car does. A sense of danger is evoked as the lines, “No tired sighs, no rolling eyes, no irony / No ‘who cares’, no vacant stares no time for me” are delivered in cautious breaks.
Hozier’s vocals are powerful and haunting, and as the video continues we come to learn more about the break-in at the beginning. The use of flashbacks in the video provides contrasts in the video, contrasts that are also highlighted in the song itself. The video depicts the struggle between morality and responsibility, the line between tragedy and bliss, even the simple juxtaposition between day and night – thus creating a richer visual experience for viewers.
However, the most tragic part of the video comes at the bridge, as the instrumentals intensify to help push the story towards its climax. We learn that the boy had initially been rescued from the empty house shown in the beginning, and the couple’s attempt to build their own family paradise is short lived when the local police arrive and convict them. In the end, the video closes with a shot of the woman and the boy looking at each other as they part ways.
The video ends on a bittersweet note and is likely to leave you emotionally stunned. The only fault in this video is that it gives you no time to think, no time to contemplate anything— at least, not until it ends. It may take a while to fit the pieces together, but once you have grasped the basic concept, it resonates within you, leaving a mark that you will never forget.