R.I.P. Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries

The Cranberries Dolores O'Riordan

Irish songwriter Dolores O’Riordan, most famously of The Cranberries, has passed away at the age of 46. A statement from her publicist says that O’Riordan was in London for a recording session, but not further details are available at this time.

O’Riordan was born and raised in Limerick, Ireland, attributing to her iconic accent and vocal style. The youngest of seven children, in 1990 she auditioned for a band called The Cranberry Saw Us. She got the gig and the band would go on to change their name to The Cranberries. Their 1993 debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, became an international success propelled by singles “Dreams” and “Linger.” The band recorded six albums across two decades, most recently with their 2012 LP Roses. In 2007, O’Riordan released her first solo album Are You Listening? and quickly followed it up with 2009’s No Baggage. Most recently she fronted the super group D.A.R.K. with Ole Koretsky and The Smiths’ Andy Rourke, releasing their album Science Agreein 2016.

O’Riordan was a fierce performer with a definitive vocal styling, bringing a bit of the spirit of Limerick to the rest of the world. Her songwriting style as well, which often veered toward confessional, captured millions across the world. Join us in remembering her legacy by revisiting some of her work in The Cranberries, solo, and beyond below.

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Song of the Day: Cut Worms – Song of the Highest Tower

photo by Caroline Gohlke

photo by Caroline Gohlke

By Justin Farrar

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Morning Show with John Richards, is “Song of the Highest Tower” by Cut Worms, off the 2017 EP Alien Sunset, available via Jagjaguwar.

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Friday Music News

photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

  • Last year, The Shins released their fifth album called Heartworms. Next week, they’re releasing a flipped version of the album entitled The Worm’s Heart, featuring reworked versions of all the songs on the album. The basic premise is that all the songs keep the same lyrics and melodies but the slow songs get turned into upbeat ones and the faster ones get slowed down. Today the band has shared the flipped version of the (former) title track “Heartworms.” The Worm’s Heart is available for pre-order now, along with immediate downloads of three songs off the album: “Name For You (Flipped),” “Cherry Hearts (Flipped)” and “Dead Alive (Flipped)” with a full release on Jan. 19. [ Paste ]

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DJ Riz Reflects on the Upcoming 18th Annual Expansions MLK Unity Party 1/14

Expansions MLK Unity Party KEXP

This Sunday, KEXP’s Expansions will host their 18th annual MLK Unity Party for an evening of music and dance to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Join Expansions DJs Sharlese, Kid Hops, Masa, Alex, and Riz as they soundtrack the evening and celebrate Dr. King’s astounding legacy. Ahead of the event, DJ Riz shares some thoughts on the legacy and importance of this powerful event. Read his thoughts below.

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Music That Matters: Barton Fink Feeling

Check out some of the KEXP DJ’s favorite artists from the Pacific Northwest and around the world on-the-go. KEXP’s Music That Matters weekly podcast brings you an exclusive mix of new music from the world’s best independent artists.

Jonathan Wilson and Kevin Cole at KEXP in 2014 // photo by Dave Lichterman

Currently you’ll hear:

Music That Matters, Vol. 598 – Barton Fink Feeling

The Music that Matters podcast that defies description yet has that Barton Fink feeling with songs from great new artists (make sure to listen to HOLY!) and old favorites like Buffalo Tom, Elvis Perkins and Geowulf.

1. Elvis Perkins – There Go the Nightmericans
2. Jonathan Wilson – Over the Midnight
3. Hatchie – Sure
4. Geowulf – Hideaway
5. Milagres – Flame
6. TR/ST – Destroyer
7. HOLY – Heard Her
8. Amusement Parks On Fire – Our Goal To Realise
9. Buffalo Tom – All Be Gone
10. Mind Spiders – Outside
11. Unlikely Friends – King of the Last Calls

Listen here: (MP3)

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You can subscribe to all of our podcasts here.

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Song of the Day: Falon Sierra – Sprained Ankles

Falon Sierra

photo by John VanderMolen

By Michael Tedder

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Sprained Ankles,” a self-released single by Falon Sierra.

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Throwaway Style: Little Star Examines Love Through Isolation on Even In Dreams

Little Star // Photo by Matthew B. Thompson

Little Star // Photo by Natalie Eagan

Throwaway Style is a weekly column dedicated to examining all aspects of the Northwest music scene. Whether it’s a new artist making waves, headlines affecting local talent, or reflecting on some of the music that’s been a foundation in our region; this space celebrates everything happening in the Northwest region, every Thursday on the KEXP Blog.

“Don’t tell me that I’m wrong about the word intimate,” Portland indie rock outfit Little Star’s Daniel Byers calls out on the title track to the band’s latest EP, Even In Dreams. The steady pulse of bass and the watery reverb of guitars wash underneath Byers’ vocals. The way its recorded sounds like it’s meant to be blared and bounced off of bedroom walls – the soundtrack to laying on your bed and staring at the ceiling. When Byers sings about intimacy, there’s a solitary longing in his voice. This mixture between being misunderstood and lonely can be suffocating, but the way Little Star interprets it turns it into something elegant.

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Midnight In A Perfect World: Mike Paradinas


London’s Mike Paradinas is a massively influential figure within the electronic music community. Best known for his works under the μ-Ziq alias, he released his debut album in 1993, played a pioneering role in the emergence of the drill’n’bass and IDM electronic music genres in the 1990s alongside his close friend and collaborator Aphex Twin, and he continues to add to his stacked discography to this day. Mike is also the founder, curator, and creative driving force behind Planet Mu Records, a highly-revered label well-known for being a vanguard of progressive electronic music. His exclusive guest DJ mix for Midnight in a Perfect World is an immersive journey through his label’s cutting-edge experimental sound that touches upon abstract ambient passages, cinematic club beats, instrumental grime bangers, frenetic juke/footwork rhythms, and more. A mixture of recently released tracks alongside a grip of forthcoming/unreleased cuts, this is a proper introduction to the Planet Mu sound.

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Thursday Music News

photo by Eliot Lee Hazel

  • tUnE-yArDs are returning next week with a new album, I can feel you creep into my private life, and today we’ve received the third single from the album, “Heart Attack.” The fun, upbeat track shows the new, more accessible direction the band is taking. This will be the first album where the band, previously the solo project of Merrill Garbus, becomes a duo with the addition of longtime collaborator Nate Brenner to the official lineup. The song comes with a colorful video directed by Mimi Cave that features a troupe of dancers with bags over their heads. The song follows “Look At Your Hands” and “ABC 123.” Tune-Yards will by stop by Seattle on Monday, Feb. 26 to play The Showbox. [ Under the Radar ]

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Review Revue: The Teardrop Explodes – Wilder

The Teardrop Explodes - Wilder

Welcome to Review Revue, where every Thursday I dig through the KEXP stacks to share DJ reviews and comments written on the covers of LPs (and occasionally CDs) in the ’80s and ’90s, when the station was called KCMU, the DJs were volunteers, and people shared their opinions on little white labels instead of the internet.

Every once in a while an album comes along that so impresses the DJs that they find themselves with nothing to say. Or, almost nothing. Until someone points it out and then everyone gets all gushy. Such was the case with the second (and sort-of final?) album from Liverpudlian psych/pop/post-punk band The Teardrop Explodes. It’s unclear if any of these folks were familiar with the band already – the very clear demarcation of band name vs. album title on the cover suggests otherwise – but they certainly fell hard for Wilder.

The Teardrop Explodes hasn’t existed for a long time, but you might recognize the name Julian Cope, whose long and multifaceted career more or less began here. Cope released two albums via his label Head Heritage last year and published a “time-shifting gnostic hooligan road novel” in 2014, so clearly his creative drive hasn’t slowed one iota.

“What, no comments on this fabulous album!!!!!!?????? Play ‘Culture Bunker,’ ‘Pure Joy,’ ‘Passionate Friend,’ and everything else!”

“(P.S. Do it now!)”


“Uh, left us all speechless . . .”



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