Hozier, who is best known for his song Take Me To Church, continues to release singles from his critically acclaimed album Hozier, which was released in 2014. Just a few days ago, he released the video for his beautiful song Cherry Wine and it is not one that you will soon forget.
The video begins with a happy couple arriving home, having some drinks, and undressing slowly, as they enjoy what seems to have been an incredible date. However, as the video continues to unfold, we see the woman (played by Brooklyn star Saoirse Ronan) sitting in front of her vanity, removing her makeup. As she continues to dab away, she reveals the facial bruising that was hiding underneath.
The short video lures you in slowly. You begin to fall in love with the couple and their happiness. Slowly but surely, that is taken away from you, as the relationship unfolds in front of your eyes. Towards the end of the video, as she stares into the mirror reflecting on her situation, her partner enters the frame, gently grabbing her shoulder and kissing her, a gesture of apology for what he has done. Despite being just over 4 minutes, the video gives you a short glimpse into why someone might stay in a relationship that is ultimately toxic for them.
Video’s like this one, while shocking at first glance, are important. When you first listen to the song, you are distracted by the sweet melody, but below the lyrics are dark and honest:
“Way she shows me I’m hers and she is mine
Open hand or closed fist would be fine
The blood is rare and sweet as cherry wine”
In a world where media controls and dictates our lives, I believe that it is video’s like this, the one’s the make us uncomfortable, that hold the power to make society rise to the occasion and create positive change. This video followed shortly on the heels of Gaga’s haunting “Til It Happens To You” video, which tackled sexual assault and violence on college campuses.
While some may say that celebrities should not use their artistry for political issues, I would argue that videos like this are the true calling of artists. It is their responsibility to make art that matters and act as the voice for those who are usually silenced. I praise celebrities like Beyonce for her highly controversial and politicized Superbowl halftime show and Kendrick Lamar for his performance at the Grammy’s, who made nod’s to Trayvon Martin.
In the U.S. alone, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience intimate partner violence at some point in their life. All the proceeds from the sale of the song will go to domestic violence charities across the world.
If you feel like you need help you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) in the U.S.