I’ve been meaning to write about the Cranberries!
Dolores passed away, not too long ago, and it’s strange how people who I haven’t met can mean so so much to me. Artists, musicians, they connect with us, speak to us, in another language. And I feel like they know me, they must do, to have created something so healing, so expressive of what I am feeling.
When I was young we had ‘No Need to Argue’ floating around our car: I fell in love with Delores’ short hairstyle and powerful stare. She looks so assertive, sitting confidently and defiantly, challenging anyone who should choose to argue. It took me many many years before I had the courage to try out a short hairstyle - she was definitely a driving inspiration behind it.
The familiar warmth of my mum singing and playing ‘Zombie’ as I woke up on weekends mingles with its darker political message. Once I was 18 I quickly became frustrated with how overplayed the song is, and it lost a lot of that warmth. The memory became mingled with memories of pubs and large drunken crowds. It’s cool to see people in unity like that though. How a song can bring people together.
My favourite song was ‘Daffodil Lament’. I remember being half asleep in the back seat, hearing that change from the previously eerie and sad, to ‘I have decided to leave here forever,.. aaaaand the daffodils look lovely todayyy,’. It was magical, it was a moment where I felt alive and whole and complete.
Similarly, hearing ‘Ode to My Family’ and feeling as if the lyrics had been taken directly from my heart. That feeling of completeness but with such a sorrow, me all silently teary eyed and glad the world was night time to hide in.
It was quite an interesting experience listening from the back seat- our speakers were not great and much of the song would be lost to the car engine, the sound of the tires, and my inevitably sleepy brain. Patches of songs would get mixed together or accrue different instruments in my imagination – and sometimes even different keys – before a rise in volume or a smoother patch of road would bring sudden clarity.
They’ve definitely had an immense influence on my own music. My love of the theatrical and dramatic instrumentation, creating an atmosphere, the haunting melodies. And the playfulness.
They definitely maintained a playfulness, in the theatre of the music, in the intensity.
Here's to Delores, and to all our heroes. The way they live on in the art they leave behind.