A look into Hozier’s latest EP, Nina Cried Power

Sarah Barrett

Credit: Aoibhín O'Sullivan

Mr. Andrew “Hozier” Byrne who hails from Bray, Co. Wicklow is back in the arena as the gift that keeps on giving since his album “Take Me to Church” debuted back in 2013.

The track of the same title shot to number one on the iTunes chart in 2014 after his video depicting anti-gay violence in Russia was uploaded to YouTube and went viral after appearing on the front page of Reddit. Succeeding his Take Me to Church EP, followed “From Eden” and then in 2015 “Live in America.”

Hozier has been nominated for a Grammy and performed at the Victoria Secret’s fashion show in 2014. With appearances on the Late Late Show with James Corden and performing with artists like Annie Lennox at the Grammy Awards.

The Grammy nominee isn’t one to shy away from sharing his political and cultural views, especially in his recent EP. In the song “Nina Cried Power”, the track draws on protest music from the American civil rights movement.

Nina Cried Power, the fourth EP to be released through the Rubywork’s record label has four tracks. First we are met with top tier lyricism on Nina Cried Power, the track draws on protest music from the American civil rights movement.

Nina Cried Power also features soul sister Mavis Staples who’s vocals on the track are soul rendering, Hozier voices and names civil rights activists Nina Simone, B.B. King, John Lennon and Marvin Gaye, who’s messages and activism contributed to change through protest.

The energy of the tune is packed with power and emotions. Featuring gospel at it’s finest and powerful songwriting. The use of drums on the track and the  sound of the organ playing helps create tension and amplifies the message being spoken to Hozier’s current audience.

The second track of the EP, NFWMB follows the biblical theme of the EP, Hozier reminds us of his strength to romanticise darkness and turmoil.

The guitar riff playfully dances with the lyrics. This song is the anthem for praising a lover and the repeat of the lyric “Nothing”, reminds us nothing will mess with Hozier and his lover.

Third on the EP, Moment’s Silence (Common Tongue), Hozier’s blues-like familiarity and most notable style returns with choppy vocals and finger clicking, the song is about sex. This song stands out on the EP. Edgy and bluesy, it’s upbeat and grows on you. Be sure to abuse the replay button because you certainly will.

Finally, the finishing track “Shrike”, the first thing that is apparent on this track is Hozier using his Irish accent to enhance the folksy sound of the tune. The romantic atmosphere created on Shrike, reflecting Irish heritage and love is fitting for the closing track of the EP.

Much like the theme of the closing song, Hozier is a bird ready for new flight and to spread his wings into the winds of further success as an ever-growing artist.

Sarah Barrett

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