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Hozier On World Cafe

Hozier is an artist who can create musical moments big enough to galvanize every molecule of air around them into action and tiny enough that they can burrow themselves in the hidden corners of your own heart. His ability to do both on the same album — and sometimes, even on the same song — is what makes him so special.

Your first introduction to Hozier was likely on the massive musical side of things. "Take Me to Church" came out in 2013 and was featured on his self-titled debut album the following year, launching him into absolute international superstardom.

His latest EP, called Nina Cried Power, opens with a similarly rousing song that pays tribute to artists who have raised their voices in protest over time like Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, Curtis Mayfield, and Mavis Staples, who is featured on the song. But by the last track of his EP, Hozier zooms in on a tiny bird of prey, a Shrike, and uses it as a surprising and powerful metaphor for love.

We'll talk about both those songs today and hear performances Hozier recorded for us in front of a live audience. Hear it all in the audio player.

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Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.