REVIEW: Hozier releases four-song EP

"Nina Cried Power" cover

Hozier became a viral hit in 2014 when his single “Take Me to Church” hit the radio waves and uploaded on YouTube. Now he’s back with a 4-song EP under the name “Nina Cried Power.”

As someone who recently listened to his debut self- titled album “Hozier” and hearing the news that he was releasing music soon, I was not disappointed. With the first track “Nina Cried Power feat. Mavis Staples,” you are met with a strong drum beat that makes you feel like you are walking beside other people who want to see change in the world.

The song title references Nina Simone, a singer, songwriter and Civil Rights activist, along with referencing other musicians who also fought for their rights, such as Billie Holiday, James Brown and more.

Staples’ feature on this track brings the old rock/blues sound and is combined with Hozier’s take on the genre, which, in the end, makes the perfect “get up and do something” song.

The second track “NFWMB” brings the easy- listening elements that made his first album great. Its somber, slow pace sets almost a dark, autumn feel along with the lyrics of him telling the audience that his “baby” cannot be messed with. It’s a love song with an undertone of telling himself to be careful of the one he loves.

The third track “Moment’s Silence (Common Tongue)” has a catchy chorus that, along with the clear guitar and the echoes of the claps in the background that are the backbone of the beat, paints this song as one that would be performed on open mic night at a local bar.

Finally, the fourth track “Shrike,” is a song you would add to your “rainy day” playlist. Along with the message of love gone wrong and the title reference to a species of bird that impales its prey before eating it, the song makes you feel like your heart has been punctured and you’re healing from that pain.

Overall the “Nina Cried Power” EP showcased Hozier’s storytelling abilities through his lyrics and the music. I would have to say the songs that stuck out to me the most are “Moment’s Silence (Common Tongue)” and “Shrike.”

“Moment’s Silence” has that easy listening I liked about Hozier’s first album, along with a catchy melody that’s nice to sing along to. With “Shrike,” the best part is the beginning, when it’s just the crisp and clear guitar and drums in the background that sets the tone.

Hozier showed he has come back with a mature sound. It didn’t seem like he needed it, but worked out well. The more I listened, the more I was convinced that Hozier is a talented musician, and I hope he will release more music in the future. For now, this EP will be on repeat, and each song will be stuck in my head.

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