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Hozier Announces His New Single, “Swan Upon Leda”

After three years since his last solo work, Irish singer and songwriter Hozier returns with a new single, “Swan Upon Leda.”


“Swan Upon Leda”

With the poetic lyrics that characterises Hozier’s art, the singer returns after a year with one of the best songs he’s ever produced. Swinging upon a cozy and harmonious melody, “Swan Upon Leda” is a strong and loud act of protest against today’s society’s inconsistencies and discrepancies, and the suffering that these cause. The symbolism behind the figure of Leda results in a striking and powerful defence of minorities  innocence.

A grandmother smugglin’ meds
Past where the god child-soldier
Setanta stood dead

Our graceful turner of heads
Weaves through the checkpoints like a needle and the thread
Someone’s frightened boy waves her on
She offers a mother’s smile and soon she’s gone


The song is a hymn pro women and women’s rights. After songs like “Nina Cried Power,” it is not unusual for Hozier to take a position on political issues. “Swan Upon Leda” takes inspiration by Egyptian journalist and author Mona Eltahawy’s work in favour of endangered women. The artist mentioned:

“Egyptian journalist and author Mona Eltahawy once referred to the global systems that control and endanger women as the world’s “oldest form of occupation.” Ever since hearing her speak in Dublin, I wanted to explore that thought in a piece.”

Hozier Swan Upon Leda

Discussing the inspiration behind the song, the release timing and the actuality of the piece, Hozier showed his concern after both the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the situation in Iran after the homicide of Mahsa Amini.

“I wrote Swan Upon Leda in Ireland a year ago and recorded it recently with producer Jenn Decilveo. We were tracking it in studio when the news came through of Roe v. Wade being overturned. I felt there was an opportunity to offer some show of solidarity.

“We’re reminded again by the protests in Iran that progressivism is a global movement. The recent pushbacks against civil liberties and human rights respect no boundaries or borders, and like all acts of control, violence and indeed all forms of occupation, their legacies can be immeasurable in both the personal and political spheres.”

In favour of the cause, the artist also announced a donation to Mayday, AidAccess and Plan C. These are organizations working toward ensuring women and pregnant people can gain safe access to reproductive healthcare.

Poetry and Mythology

As all Hozier’s best songs, “Swan Upon Leda” takes inspiration from Greek mythology. The elegant poetic metaphor refers to Leda, the Aetolian princess who became a Spartan queen. Beautiful with her black hair and snowy skin, the princess was the center in art from Renaissance. Her story is described in the Leda and the Swan story by Ovid and later in a poem of the same name by William Butler Yeats.

According to mythology, Greek god Zeus turned into a swan and raped Leda. Leda’s intercourse with the swan and then with her husband, King Tyndareus, resulted in two eggs. These gave birth to Elena, Clytemnestra and the twins Castor and Pollux.

Ureal Unearth, Hozier’s upcoming album

The song will be part of Hozier’s upcoming album, Unreal Unearth. “Of all the songs coming from Unreal Unearth, I wanted to offer Swan Upon Leda at this time,” the artist wrote.

The album was announced right before the end of 2021 on the singer’s social account. Together with pictures of himself in the studio, allegedly recording new music, the artist published a short message.

“Want to wish you all a happy, peaceful and safe end to 2021.

I’m so grateful for the continued support and I hope I get to thank some of you in person while touring the next chapter… ‘Unreal Unearth’ will start to find its way to your ears next year, come hell or high water.”

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