Andrew Hozier-Byrne, who is simply known as Hozier to fans, has announced he will be releasing an EP on September 6. The artist took to Twitter to officially declare the release date of his long-awaited comeback, Nina Cried Power, to his 677,000 followers on Sunday. This took many fans by surprise as the artist usually keeps a relatively low profile on social media (choosing to post atmospheric photos of nature instead of posed candids) and while there had been rumors of a new album, there was no evidence to suggest anything of the sort until this weekend when the artist hinted at new music in a few cryptic Instagram posts. A full album is due sometime in 2019, Rolling Stone reports.
The artist from Ireland is best known for his independently released single “Take Me to Church,” which debuted in 2015. His meteoric rise to fame was quick after that as he soon landed gigs on Saturday Night Live and began touring worldwide. Hozier remarked on how overwhelmed all the attention was at the beginning of his career by saying, “My head was spinning, it took a long time for me to even make sense of it all.”
There is, in fact, a song called “Nina Cried Power” on the upcoming EP and the title track is Hozier’s pride and joy. On the subject of the song, he called it “a song about protest songs.” The track has been dubbed “optimistic” by Rolling Stone and marks Hozier’s hope to pay tribute to Mavis Staples, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and, of course, Nina Simone whose name served as the inspiration for the title track.
I’m thrilled to release the Nina Cried Power EP on September 6th. This collection of songs is an example of what I’ve been working on in the last while and will be a small taste of what is to be expected from the upcoming album. https://t.co/4BF7hsFCfZ pic.twitter.com/dneUIHU5Ez— Hozier (@Hozier) September 3, 2018
Notably, Mavis Staples was recruited by Hozier to sing a guest verse for the EP. On the topic of working with Staples, he called her “the most amazing person… The energy is still absolutely there.” The urgency to produce music inspired by fights for equality came to Hozier in the wake of recent political and world news. “Everybody’s angry at each other and just screaming their points of views into this furnace of discourse. There’s nothing reasonable about it,” the artist said about the current state of the world.
Hozier’s activism doesn’t just begin with this EP. The artist recently performed at a Stand4Truth Rally protesting the abuse suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church. The performance was during the pope’s most recent trip to Ireland which took place late August.