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“It’s not the waking, it’s the rising / It is the grounding of a foot uncompromising.”  Those lyrics are nothing short of passionate, poetic, and incredibly prudent.  For Irish singer/songwriter Hozier, known for “Take Me to Church,” socially-charged songs are his wheelhouse. “Nina Cried Power” falls into that same socially-conscious realm, serving as the opening song from his EP of the same title.  The Grammy-nominated musician is atoning for the injustices of the past and fighting for maintaining freedom.  It’s about civil rights, equality, and promoting music as a means to protest and progress.

Throughout this spirited, gospel-tinged alternative record, Hozier references numerous musicians who were passionate and unafraid to protest musically.  The most prominent name is naturally Nina Simone, but the list of artists named also includes B.B. King, James Brown, John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, and Mavis Staples.  Notably, the legendary Staples joins Hozier in paying ode and “crying power” musically, particularly on the high-flying chorus. Staples provides that extra smidgen of gospel-tinged soul with her iconic, gritty pipes. On the bridge, she asserts:

“And I could cry power
Power has been cried by those stronger than me
Straight into the face that tells you
To rattle your chains if you love being free.” 

“Nina Cried Power” is the perfect song for the turbulent times of today, where social unrest is at an all-time high. The divide is great among various groups of people. Perhaps this record can’t atone for the injustices in the big scheme of things, but musically, it’s incredibly potent and sincere.

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About The Curator - Brent Faulkner

Brent Faulkner - Music to Curator

Slightly eccentric with interests that seem to know no ends, restless ‘Renaissance Man’ is the best way to characterize Brent Faulkner, a native of Kentucky.  A certified music educator, multi-instrumentalist, and composer known for his incredibly sharp ear, he lives and breathes music of a variety of styles.  In addition to passion for educating, performing, and writing music, he’s equally passionate blogging and writing about it, managing his own site, The Musical Hype ( When he’s not intensely analyzing music, you can find him reading or watching a movie, reality television or some sporting event.