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Hozier Gives a Powerful Preview of What’s to Come

By Amelia Johnson

It’s not the waking, it’s the rising.

It has been four years since Irish-born musician Hozier last graced us with a collection of new music. His self-titled debut album, Hozier, was a fifteen-track masterpiece that both took us to church and then buried us deep within the Irish woods afterwards. It put Hozier on a world-map, topping charts in numerous countries, only for him to retreat back into hiding for years.

His triumphant return to the music world with the EP Nina Cried Power — released on September 6 through Columbia Records — proves that Hozier did not spend those four years running with the wood nymphs of the Irish underworld (as many on Twitter speculated). He spent them doing his homework.

Hozier’s brings two signature yet haunting love songs to the table — “NFWMB” (stands for “Nothing Fucks With My Baby”) and “Shrike.” “NFWMB” is a crooning lullaby of a love song, littered with religious imagery and reminiscent of a kind of love that undoes you. “Shrike” is more organic, a folk-like song that falls into the vein of Hozier’s death and animal love songs (see: “In A Week”). While familiar, it is still beautiful enough to pour into your ears.

Gorgeous and lyrical on their own, Hozier’s quieter songs fail to distinguish themselves from the shadow of a song like “Nina Cried Power,” which feels important, especially paired with the recently released music video featuring modern Irish activists listening to Hozier’s thank-you note for the first time while protest videos project over their faces.

Though a short collection, Nina Cried Power flourishes, holding its own as a lavish 20 minutes of music. It refuses to overwhelm the listener with the best from Hozier’s upcoming album while still holding its own intrigue. It’s a sneak preview that makes you wipe away your tears, jump on Twitter, and ask, “So @Hozier, where’s the album?”