- 07 Sep 18
The Wicklow artist has released a rousing anthem in tribute to Nina Simone and a legacy of 20th Century giants.
Taken from his Nina Cried Power EP, which is also out today, the title song focuses on the monoliths of modern music who spearheaded movements and beliefs (something which Hozier himself has never been shy about doing). Nina Simone, Billie Holliday, Mavis Staples, Curtis Mayfield, Patti LaBelle, John Lennon, James Brown, B.B. King, Joni Mitchell, Pete Seegar, Marvin Gaye, Millie Jackson, Bob Dylan and Boody Guntrie all get a mention. Staples herself also features on the track, sounding like her ferociously soulful self.
Speaking about the song, Hozier said: "The title track was written sometime last year, and my aim was to credit the actuality of hope, solidarity and love found in the human spirit at a time when their opposites were being given a mainstream platform 24/7. The song started as a tongue-in-cheek inquiry into modern popular language regarding political awareness and grew from there.
"In many ways the song is a thank you note to the legacy of artists from the 20th Century whose work still inspires us, and whose well we draw from in times of uncertainty. Mavis Staples is one such artist. Getting to work with her on this song was a joy, and nothing short of a dream come true."
The release follows on from Hozier's memorable cameo appearance at Electric Picnic last Saturday, where he emerged to sing with Mavis Staples during her afternoon set. He's also been performing new music at a trio of rehearsal shows at The Academy.
Listen to 'Nina Cried Power' here:
A short 40 second video, shared on Hozier's Twitter, also gives a behind the scenes look at Mavis Staples and Hozier poring over lyrics in the studio. You can watch it here:
— Hozier (@Hozier) September 6, 2018