Hozier doesn't stray far from his own music when he's hard at work in the studio, but he had hip-hop on the brain when he was working on the follow-up to his 2014 debut -- namely Kendrick Lamar.
"You'd be amazed at how much I've managed to not listen to music when I'm in studio, certainly when I'm working on the material itself in-depth," he told NPR Music in a new interview about his next chapter (which involves a tour and new music, though he hasn't revealed when he'll be releasing it).
"I tend to just focus on that and try to represent that as best as possible in the days in studio. My head is constantly going back to the 1950s and the 1960s, and then keeping kind an ear out. Hip-hop music now is fantastic and incredibly brave, so a lot Kendrick Lamar]."
The Irish musician also name-checked Bedouine, whose bluesy folk aesthetic lines up with his own -- even if he was interested in branching out from the sonic hallmarks "Take Me to Church" and the rest his self-titled album.
"I was leaning away from that a little bit, and I have to say, discovering her debut album was great comfort and great encouragement," he says Bedouine's music. "Beautiful songs, placidly, timeless beautiful songs, outrageously honest and intimate lyrics, which I just loved because it represented to me what a song is and what a song has been and continues to be. It kind encouraged me to just explore some the more folk ideas, which is something I'm doing here in LA..."
He went on to give a sneak peek forthcoming track "Wasteland, Baby!" and a selection its lyrics that touch on love in our current climate and those "trying to still find joy and still find something worthwhile in the absolute worst case scenarios."
Hozier returns to the stage on Sept. 15 in Ottowa, Canada.