Hozier brings ethereal poetry to new EP

Daria Burnley

By Daria Burnley

After a four-year hiatus, Hozier has emerged from his moss-covered cave to give the people a taste of his new upcoming album, releasing four songs on his new EP Nina Cried Power. Hozier returns with his signature aura of Celtic mysticism and bluesy arthouse inspiration.

Hozier isn’t a stranger to vocalizing social issues. His breakout song Take Me to Church poetically describes the trials and tribulations of being gay in this world. His first song on the EP, aptly named after the album title “Nina Cried Power,” is a power ballad dedicated to activism and the power of voice.

Including a feature by Mavis Staples, a prominent soul singer and civil rights activist and with a call out to Nina Simone, another legend of the soul movement, Nina Cried Power is soul at its best. Through range shifts, the gospel of God is replaced by the message of civil rights in lines such as, “It’s not the wall, but what’s behind it / Lord, the fear of fellow man is mere assignment.”

The second standout song NFWB, an acronym for “Nothing F—– With My Baby,” is Hozier at his best. Vocals resemble that of a whispering druid, reminding its lover of their ethereal bond that transcends physical bodies through lyrics like, “If I was born a blackthorn tree / I’d wanna be felled by you, Held by you/ Fuel the pyre of your enemies.” Its otherworldly rhythm and imagery is peak Hozier who once again shows his excellence in poetic style and motion.

The final song “Shrike,” is a folksy tale of escape and return to hope. Hozier uses flighty vocals that start low then quickly ascend to higher and airy pitches. Each peak of sound marks the lyrics describing his longing for his truest love, “Remember me love, when I’m reborn /As the shrike to your sharp and glorious thorn.”

Just from this EP, it’s obvious that the rest of Hozier’s album will be another triumph in the alternative genre. To say the least, the bard of Bray is back.