Hozier has been on quite the journey since the release of his self-titled album in 2014. The Grammy nominated artist is about to hit the road in support of his latest release, ‘Nina Cried Power’. According to Andrew, the fans have a lot to look forward to. “I have a really special group of people joining me on this tour, everyone is a great singer and we’ve got an extra band member in an organ player. Booker T Jones – the legendary Booker T Jones - is across so much of the new record so we needed somebody to fill those ginormous boots! We enlisted organ player Cormac Curran to join us as well as fiddle player Suzanne Santo, both add a really lovely element to the live show.” Being on the road can come with some challenges, but Andrew admits that one thing he can’t live without on the road is a good set of headphones and a portable speaker. “I have an UE boom, which makes an enormous noise and is very important for listening to music in the hotel room or for wherever good times are had. Then you do find the comforts of home in the right type of tea and potato chips, all from back home so they are like gold dust, and chocolate as well from home, they are bartered like prison rations.”
While there are a lot of things to look forward to when traveling, Andrew shares that he actually looks forward to playing the shows and sharing that experience with the audience. “Realizing the music live on stage, the fun that you have, and the memories you make are fantastic. It’s so fun to see new places and wander cities like Portland or Nashville for a bit and just be a tourist for a day if you can snatch a few hours. I’m really really excited to go back to New York – we’ve got a few shows lined up at Beacon Theatre. It’s a very special city for me as it was one of the first shows in the US where we had a fantastic reaction to my music. I have great memories of playing The Bowery Ballroom, New York has been a special city to me ever since.”
Andrew admits that he has been very keen on keeping the creative process of his new music as close to the last record as possible. “I just found a quiet place in the countryside in Wicklow, Ireland and settled in. I arranged the music, demoed the music, and wrote and arranged as much as possible. Then I got together with a producer and took it from there for the actual writing and arranging. Working with Markus Dravs on this record was a new experience and yielded some pretty exciting results I think.” During the process of creating this new body of work, Andrew reveals that he learned how much he enjoyed working alone and spending time alone, “I think that’s very important for my creative process. Spending that quiet time in Wicklow was even more enjoyable, more productive, and more fruitful than I thought it would have been.”
While working on his current release, ‘Nina Cried Power’, Andrew shares that there are a few more synth elements across the songs, a lot of classic synths and also a lot of analog synths. “I kind of leaned into some of the gospel influences a bit more in arranging choral parts. There’s also rhythmically more rhythm and blues and classic R n B to it.” Since Hozier’s last tour, Andrew admits that he had so many ideas sitting on his phone, along with many things rattling in his head, “so actually getting to exercise those and have them come to fruition was super rewarding. Also getting to work with Booker T Jones on this record was a dream come true, getting to work with Mavis Staples was beyond a dream come true - they are two absolute heroes of mine who shaped my love of music. That hands down was the most rewarding element of this record.”
“I’m looking forward to sharing this with the fans, and I think we will achieve some fantastic things on the road with this group of musicians. I’m actually most looking forward to just getting the music out there and sharing it with people. The faster I do that, the faster I can get back to making more music - when you write and release songs it opens up room in your head to make new music.” Andrew admits that he is super proud of the work and the fact that it can now be listened to after so long - he is thrilled.
Hozier is an extraordinary talent and I am grateful to live in a time where artists like Andrew can share their gift with the world and inspire people everywhere. Hozier’s latest release ‘Nina Cried Power’ is now available to stream on all music services. Hozier is currently on the road in North American through October 22nd, ending in Vancouver, BC, Canada.