Our beautiful, beautiful woodland spirit Hozier has returned. For the first time since the rising of male singer-songwriters with great hair of 2014, Hozier has released new music. New EP Nina Cried Power is his meteoric return to music, and not a moment too soon.
The opener ‘Nina Cried Power’ is quite simply incredible. After the ‘fuck you’ he delivered to the Catholic church on ‘Take Me To Church’ over homosexuality, Hozier shows he’s not a one trick pony. When talking about the song he said: “[It’s] a suggestion that the battle for equality these artists championed remains an ongoing and necessary one.
“The fights that took place 100 years ago or 200 years ago for whatever — civil rights or workers’ right etc. — don’t stop. There is no final victory. [Staples is] the most amazing person, just fucking unbelievable. [Her] energy is still absolutely there.” The strength of his voice is immediately made clear with the delicacy of the opening lines in comparison to the belting chorus.
‘NFWMB’ or Nothing Fucks With My Baby, is more of what we’ve seen on Hozier it’s powerful balladry with plays on words and pulls from a tapestry of sources such as Joni Mitchell, who also got a mention in ‘Nina Cried Power’. There’s an effortlessness to the delivery where the lines just appear to roll off Hozier’s tongue. This song showcases his voice, which four years later is still just as awe inspiring as it was when he first made it.
A change of pace comes for ‘Moment’s Silence (Common Tongue). It’s smooth, it’s bluesy and it’s just what you wouldn’t expect after a track like ‘NFWMB’ or before ‘Shrike’, the track spices up what otherwise would’ve been a very good, but on brand EP for Hozier. ‘Shrike’ is tender and gentle. It’s a song about love lost and the lengths people go to to get it back. The title comes from the bird of the same name which impales it’s prey on spikes, or thorns as the song says.
Hozier had a lot to prove, four years gone warrants one hell of a return and somehow he’s pulled it off. The remarkable talent Hozier has shines through in everything he does. As years have gone on Hozier appears to have only gotten better honing his voice to be able to deliver the powerful songs he continues to write.
Listen to the Nina Cried Power EP here.
Featured Photo: Oscar Keys