Russia’s recently introduced laws against ‘gay propaganda’ sparked controversy all over the world. When Irish singer Hoizer chimed in with his own protest song the people listened. A lot. His song Take me to Church was streamed over 87 million times on Spotify, making it the platform’s most successful single of 2014. The song, which was nominated for Song of the Year at the Grammys, did very well as a video too, it was viewed more than 40 million times on YouTube.
Hozier said: ‘The song was always about humanity at its most natural, and how that is undermined ceaselessly by religious [organizations] and those who would have us believe they act in its interests. What has been seen growing in Russia is no less than nightmarish, I proposed bringing these themes into the story and [director Brendan Canty] liked the idea.’