Lindsey Lanham | Editor-in-Chief
There are very few musicians that can manage to unify people regardless of genre, and Hozier has managed to establish himself as one of those artists. And after four long years, people are feeling ethereal as ever with his latest release. “Nina Cried Power” reinforces Hozier’s presence on the music scene with complex lyricism, mature musical layering and something that is just genuine Hozier.
Andrew Hozier-Byrne came on to the music scene like a lightning strike. His debut release, dropped in 2014, with his hit single “Take Me to Church,” and people were enraptured with his soulful voice and bold musical choices.
Now, the “Nina Cried Power” EP was released Sept. 6, and while it’s always daunting to follow up an album as impressive as his debut album, Hozier still remains true to himself. The EP is charged and powerful, honing all of Hozier’s best musical qualities.
“Nina Cried Power” (feat. Mavis Staples): Starting the EP with something as aggressively powerful as the title track was a bold move. And as Hozier quite literally cries “power,” with a choir backing, the listener can’t help but feel empowered. With legend Mavis Staples, Hozier presents a politically charged anthem, unashamed and brave as his voice rings out beautifully.
“NFWMB:” Hozier adopts a quietly possessive tone in this track. Even though the lyricism may not match the almost relaxed tone of the music, it’s the calm way he presents the story that makes it more threatening. As he croons a sultry “Nothing fucks with my baby,” the music never picks up in tempo and becomes an nontraditional ballad.
“Moment’s Silence (Common Tongue):” A modern twist on an old school blues sound, this may be the most underwhelming song off the EP. By no means does that make it a bad song. The track is the least interesting vocally and lyrically, but the music is made for easy-listening.
“Shrike:” At five minutes long, “Shrike” is the slow-burning ending that could only appropriately finish off the EP. A song about a lost love, Hozier croons out a “Hung like the pelt of some prey you had worn / Remember me love, when I'm reborn,” establishing himself as the shrike’s prey. The music never picks up in pace, but in true Hozier fashion, the story told comes across as natural and visual, making it one of the more beautifully planned songs off the EP.
Four years after his wildly successful debut, Hozier has managed to keep his energy up and alive. “Nina Cried Power” just reinforced what we already knew - Hozier’s musical abilities are a force to be reckoned with.