After four years of a “Moment’s Silence” Hozier finally releases EP

Jessica Leydet, Social Media Editor

Irish soul singer, Hozier, has been on a four year hiatus since the release of his first self-titled album. He has finally returned, gracing us with a four track EP, and I am going to tell you right now if you didn’t already hear it for yourself, it is near divine perfection.

Hozier is best known for his hit single “Take Me to Church” which was the title track on his first ever EP. The song hit No. 1 on iTunes in October 2013 after going viral on YouTube. In December 2015, it was announced that “Take Me to Church” was nominated at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards for Song of the Year. He is most loved for his ability to combine two powerful genres, folk and blues, with his mesmerizing vocals and rugged bass driven sound.

Thematically the new EP, “Nina Cried Power” is everything fans would expect from Hozier—a selection of vulnerable love songs. He even teamed up with American gospel singer, Mavis Staples for a collaboration you’ll probably need to sit down to take in how incredibly powerful it is.

The title track “Nina Cried Power feat. Mavis Staples” is my favorite song on the EP. I think he chose well by drawing the attention to this track by naming the EP after it. It showcases Hozier’s signature ability to fill a room with his fervent, echoing sound. I love the way Mavis Staples’ captivating vocals pair with his, to create this uplifting atmosphere. The lyrics capture it best, “It’s not the song, it is the singin’/ It’s the heaven of the human spirit ringin.’”

“NFWMB” is an acoustic song that has this forbidding and gloomy vibe, which contrasts his flawless falsetto. Also, just in case you were wondering, “NFWMB” stands for “nobody f****s with my baby,” which is repeated in the chorus.

“Moment’s Silence (Common Tongue)” is incredibly clever. It has a very smokey, old school sound. If you could depict Bonnie and Clyde’s relationship through song, this is how I would picture it, “all reason flown, as God looks on in abject apathy.” The lyrics are so painfully good at romanticizing the idea of love, describing it as, “A cure I know that soothes the soul, the soul impossibly.”

The last track, “Shrike” is a soothing end to this overall stream of heart and soul—but musically, not lyrically. Shrike are small carnivorous songbirds that catch prey by stabbing them with their sharp beaks and storing uneaten prey by impaling it through thorns. In the song Hozier compares himself to one—weird I know—but turns out to be quite endearing. He uses the method of killing prey as a metaphor for his transformation as a person through his past relationships. “Remember me love, when I’m reborn/ As a shrike to your sharp and glorious thorn.”

I give the EP 4.5 stars out of 5. I’m just not convinced that Hozier deserves a 5 because of his lack of reaching out of his comfort zone. He has such a versatile voice, and I think his writing stretches past the boundary of standard songwriting. His use of double entendres in his songs is so intriguing, and I just don’t think any other artist compares. By all means Hozier, please drop the second album already.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars