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The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Noah Kahan and Hozier Release Collab on Kahan’s “Northern Attitude”

Two of the indie scene’s favorite artists join up to perform the hit song.
Torch Photo / Elizabeth Kaufmann

Singer-songwriters Noah Kahan and Hozier released their collaboration on Kahan’s hit song “Northern Attitude” on Nov. 10. The two have been releasing teasers and announcements of the official song for a few days prior to the release, and now it’s finally here.

The pair was first revealed at Kahan’s Nashville concert on Oct. 4, where the singer brought Hozier out to perform “Northern Attitude” alongside him. Both artists stunned crowds with their ability to encapsulate their music live with the same gut-wrenching emotion that appears in the cleaned-up, recorded versions.

“Northern Attitude” is the first song in Kahan’s 2022 album “Stick Season,” which includes hits that took off on social media platforms like TikTok. Kahan, with over 21 million monthly listeners, uses his music to tell tales of heartbreak and finding oneself amidst the woes of life while teleporting listeners to the Vermont woods. 

Upbeat country reverb and banjo twangs set the scene for Kahan’s melancholy poems. Compared to his duet partner, Hozier, who chooses to gently hold his socio-politically intense and utterly human, master course-level poems in the hands of his rounded, choir-like voice. 

Combining both voices at 2:38 in this nod to the hardening a cold life ensues creates a deeply layered rendition that no one but Hozier could bring to a song. To hear him sing the poetics of another yet make it undeniably him was such a pleasure. 

Hozier, from Ireland, channels his accent while singing “Northern Attitude” and performs in the more “Sprechstimme” style that Kahan chooses — a way of singing that sounds like speaking or shouting, one that hits the upper region of the throat rather than the lower region that Hozier normally tunes into. By doing so Hozier adds to Kahan’s Vermont vibe the Irish countryside feel that a lot of his songs convey. 

Both artists were elated at the release of this collaboration, each posting heartfelt messages on their social media about it. 

In an Instagram post, Kahan wrote, “If you know me at all you know this collaboration is something very deeply special and important to me. I used to sit down at the table with my guitar and just try to capture a fraction of the emotion and beauty that hozier encapsulates in each song he writes. It never quite worked, but each song was better for trying. To have one of my heroes performing this song with me is something I’ll tell my grandkids or at least my next dog. Northern Attitude (with Hozier) is out now.”

Hozier reposted Kahan’s message but said too on Oct. 6 shortly after the debut concert: “Sincere thank you to the outrageously talented @noahkahanmusic for having me in Nashville to sing with him one of my favourite of his songs the other evening.

“This man honours me with his kindness and totally uplifts me with his work and approach to music and performance, I’m grateful for memories like this and for artists like him. Big love.”

Now, the song is out and ours and it is well worth the listen.

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About the Contributor
Elizabeth Kaufmann, Opinion Editor & Human Resources Manager
Liz is a senior English major serving as the Human Resources Manager. Having been with The Torch since the start of her freshman year, Liz has held multiple positions within the publication and has loved every second of it. Being from Long Island, Liz commutes to the Queens campus. Liz self identifies as a reader, a writer, a coffee enthusiast and a specialist in long walks.  Liz can be reached at [email protected]

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