“Take Me to Church” is Irish musician Hozier’s (real name Andrew Hozier-Byrne) infamous 2013 hit, which uses religious terminology to describe the ups and downs of a romantic relationship.
Hozier originally released the track as a free download as he was a struggling, unnoticed musician at the time, caught the attention of independent label “Rubyworks”, where the producer Rob Kirwan overdubbed the original demo with live instruments. In an interview with New York Magazine in March 2014, Hozier discussed the meaning behind the track: “‘Take Me to Church’ is essentially about sex… it’s not an attack on faith. It’s about sex and it’s about humanity, and obviously sex and humanity are incredibly tied. Sexuality, and sexual orientation — regardless of orientation — is just natural… The song is about asserting yourself and reclaiming your humanity through an act of love.”
The track was also nominated for a Grammy Award in 2015 for “Song of the Year”.
The music video was released on the 25th September 2013, and was directed by Brendan Cant and Conal Thomson from the small production company “Feel Good Lost”. The video follows the relationship of two men in Russia and the violent homophobic backlash from it. It was shot in grayscale and filmed at Inniscarra Dam in Cork, Ireland. As of September 2019, the video has over 315 million views and almost 3 million likes.
Release Date: 13th September 2013
Songwriter/s: Andrew Hozier-Byrne
Producer/s: Rob Kirwan
Label/s: Rubyworks / Island / Columbia
Music Video Release Date: 25th September 2013
Music Video Director/s: Brendan Canty & Conal Thomson
Chart Rankings & Certifications: In its year of release up until 2015, “Take Me To Church” charted #1 in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Columbia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the US. It also charted in the top 5 in the UK, Spain, Slovenia, Scotland, Russia, Norway, New Zealand, India, Ireland, Finland, Germany and many other countries. The track is certified Gold in Austria, Platinum in the Netherlands and Switzerland; 2x Platinum in Denmark and Germany; 3x Platinum in Belgium, New Zealand and the UK; 6x Platinum in Italy and the US; 7x Platinum in Norway; 8x Platinum in Australia; 9x Platinum in Australia, and lastly, certifying Diamond in Canada and France.