Best known for her work with Irish rock act the Cranberries, vocalist Dolores O'Riordan has inked with Rounder Records' rock imprint Zoë for her second solo record. Entitled "No Baggage," the 11 song set is due August 25 with O'Riordan co-producing along side Dan Brodbeck, who she worked with on "Are You Listening?," her 2007 solo debut. For "No Baggage," O'Riordan was in the studio from January 2008 through May 2008, a process that she describes as "very spontaneous" and "probably the quickest" she's worked.
The Cranberries have been on an indefinite hiatus since 2003, and O'Riordan has used the time to slowly develop new music, a pace that's much more her to her liking. "I decided to give up music for awhile -- not be in a band, not be on a label, and not be in a box," O'Riordan tells Billboard.com. "You get all this adoration, but you don't know how to take it when you're young. This is something I'm doing for myself. It challenges me. And it's made me more in touch with myself, the reason that I'm here. I don't have any of that pressure. It's totally a hobby for me; for a long time, [music] became a job."
"No Baggage" is described by O'Riordan as a very personal album, one that she says was driven by the desire to "make peace" with herself. "I wanted to address everything and not hide anything. I think for a long time, I closed up and became introverted. As human beings, we're always looking forward and always looking back. It's hard to live in the present."
Alongside 10,000 Maniacs and Mazzy Star, O'Riordan and the Cranberries rose to prominence seemingly overnight during the explosion of alternative rock in the Nineties. The Cranberries had wildly successful singles, including "Linger," "Dreams," and "Zombie." On "No Baggage," the driving rock of "Be Careful" and lead single "The Journey" seem to reference her quick ascent to the top of the female rock-act chain and subsequent years.
"I got to say, it was the darkest and weakest part of my life, emotionally," she says. "I got so big so quickly, I lost sense of reality. I lost my friends and I didn't really have a normal life. All my friends went to college when I was 18 and I went and got famous overnight. So, I was a bit of a train wreck, to say the least."
O'Riordan is currently on a European promo tour and will head to the United States in July for a series of dates. "The Journey" will be released on iTunes on June 2.
Here is the track list for "No Baggage:"
"Switch Off The Moment"
"Apple Of My Eye"
"Throw Your Arms Around Me"