On September 6th, Hozier’s return to the music industry came in the form of a new EP called Nina Cried Power and from the outlook, things are looking very promising for the Irish singer-songwriter.
The EP opens with the title track and a hard drum beat to set the theme for the song – Power. The tune has a soulful feel created by a mix of the gospel-like backing singers as well as Hozier’s and Staples’ powerful voices that cut through the mix, raising the hairs on the back of the listeners neck. Hozier pays homage to some of the great protest artists such as Nina Simone, John Lennon and Mavis Staples who also makes an appearance in the song. In a recent interview, Hozier described the song as ‘a thank you note to the spirit of protest.’
‘NFWMB’ slows the tempo and soothes the mood of things but still the theme of power remains. The relaxed guitar riff, minimal piano and unceasing drums drive the song forward as Hozier calmly sings of a lover who can’t be broken by anything. ‘Moment’s Silence (Common Tongue)’ moves the EP into the realm of blues. Over the top of a crackly guitar, Hozier sings about what could be interpreted as oral sex and brushes aside the religious powers that condemn such things.
The EP is closed by ‘Shrike’, a track that beautifully lays bare the heart of Hozier. The singer laments about the regrets of a failed relationship, wishing he could have appreciated what he had at the time. Reflective and tender lines such as ‘I couldn’t utter my love when it counted / But I’m singing like a bird about it now’, create a great contrast in emotion to the previous tracks on the record and end it on a somber but still powerful note.
Overall, the diverse nature of the record makes for a very enjoyable listen. With a greatly anticipated album to follow in 2019, if this record is anything to go on it looks like Hozier is in with a good chance of rivaling the brilliance of his debut album and in doing so, potentially top the charts. If so then it’s safe to say that Hozier can add his own name to the list of people crying power.