Brandi Carlile and Hozier are a match made in heaven.
The folk-rock vocalists collaborated on the fantastic new song “Damage Gets Done” off Hozier’s incredible third album, “Unreal Unearth” (available now). Over rousing synths and guitar, the couple sings well together as they trade lines about a carefree, more carefree time when young love seemed like enough.
“I had always sort of heard her voice on it,” Hozier tells USA TODAY. “It was this song that needed this really strong, bold vocal, and Brandi just has one of those voices. She’s somebody who I’m very lucky to call a friend over the last few years. I’ve sang with her a few times and we’ve gotten to know each other a little bit.”
The vocalist of “Take Me to Church” first met Carlile in 2015 at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island. She was performing his hit song “Work Song” at the time in her performances.
“I was really honored, and through that, I got into her music a bit more. Eventually, we kept in touch,” Hozier says. “I just have huge respect for her work, and she’s such a strong community builder. She’s somebody who operates from a place of inclusivity and love, and that’s something I’ve always had huge admiration for.”
Carlile introduced Hozier to Joni Mitchell early on in their acquaintance; Mitchell triumphantly made her stage comeback last year following a brain aneurysm in 2015.
“Brandi invited me one day to jam at Joni’s house,” Hozier explains. “That was very unique. I merely felt grateful to be there. It was still extremely early. Brandi realized how much Joni missed having musicians around. We had dinner while Brandi was getting to know Joni and her immediate family. We would just pass the guitar around, take turns singing a song, and hang out in Joni’s gorgeous music room when a few musicians would show up.
“It was super casual,” Hozier continues. “There was something very relaxed and very intimate about that. If Joni felt like she wanted to join in on a song, she would. It was super special and super moving. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to describe how it felt to be there.
We all worship Joni so much. And Brandi was doing this wonderful thing just from the spirit of wanting Joni to know how much we love and support her work, and how important it is to every musician.”