Watch: Hozier pays lyrical tribute to jazz legends in 'Almost (Sweet Music)' performance on 'Colbert'
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Hozier was the musical guest on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” last night (March 5). The Grammy-nominated Irish folk-rocker performed “Almost (Sweet Music)” from his highly-anticipated sophomore album, Wasteland, Baby!

Lyrics from the new song pay tribute to several legendary jazz artists including Duke Ellington in the lines “The numbered lovers of Duke Ellington/Do I owe each kiss to lip and cheek as soft” and Chet Baker as well as others in the chorus with “Sweet Music” (“Sweet Jazz Music” Jelly Roll Morton) playing “In the Dark” (“Dancing in the Dark” Duke Ellington)/Be still “My Foolish Heart” (Bill Evans Trio) and more.

The performance traveled straight down Hozier’s indie-folk rock lane. Joined by a full band and backup singers, Hozier plucked out the opening notes of the melody of the uptempo track on his electric guitar, while sporting a Mavis Staples “I’ll Take You There” t-shirt under a dark jacket. Behind him, his performing partners delivered lots of spirited hand-clapping, finger-snapping fun.

Overall, this song is a bluesy, sweet love song which incorporates titles from some of the most iconic songs and artists in history. The tone, tempo and subject matter is notably different (and lighter) than his Grammy-nominated breakout anthem “Take Me to Church.”

Watch his entire performance above.

“Almost” dropped in January and Wasteland, Baby! is Hozier's first album in five years. The first track, “Nina Cried Power,” features jazz legend Mavis Staples and is the title track of his 2018 EP of the same name.

Hozier’s “Late Show” appearance falls in line with the launch of his 2019 Wasteland, Baby! Tour. The tour includes a stop at Bellco Theatre in Denver, Colorado on Friday, April 5. Tickets are available now at AXS.

Stay tuned to AXS for news and updates on Hozier.