AWTY reviews Pillow Queens’ debut album ‘In Waiting’
It’s been a while coming, but today (25th September) Indie rock band, Pillow Queens release their first debut album ‘In Waiting’. Why so significant? Well you only have to scan down anybody’s list of top ten, top twenty, or top thirty, indie rock bands to realise that female talent is hugely absent in this genre.
Pillow Queens are an all-female, four-piece Irish band, comprising Pamela Connolly (vocals, guitar, bass) Sarah Corcoran (vocals, guitar, bass,) Rachel Lyons (Drums, vocals) and Cathy McGuinness (Lead guitar, vocals), who came together back in 2016. Since then they have paid their dues in hard work. Two demo EPs (the second of which made BBC Radio 6 and NME playlists as well as Radio 1), a number of festival appearances, and support to the likes of Pussy Riot, Future Islands, American Football and IDLES, have all solidified their fan base. Last year the highlight was playing Eurosonic Festival - a large music event and conference in the Netherlands.
You don’t have to listen to, or see, Pillow Queens for long to realise this is no sanitised, put-together, talent contest blended, group of girls. Their roots are more on display than a bad hair dye job as Dublin accents mix in with lyrics exploring a range of social injustice. If you want to hear this at its finest then just listen to ‘Favourite’; that rhyming of ‘let it doy’ with ‘on the sloy’ offers Irish lyricism to rival any pint of Guinness.
So what else is there to like from the new album apart from their sassy no nonsense approach to music? Well, the more you listen the more you get sucked into their confident sound.
‘HowDoILook’, with its upbeat tune offers dark messages about mental health and struggling with personal appearance especially in social situations.
“It took a while but I don't mind. How does my body look in this light?”
when chanted by the band makes it powerful and striking.
Another favourite is ‘Handsome Wife’, a love song which, given the bands queer identity, turns both ‘handsome’ and ‘wife’ on its gender-defined head. But this is also a love song as the band explain on 'The Line of Best Fit’ website: “Throughout, the mundane but tender moments are held up and deified, paying reverence to the ease in which a love can thrive outside the realms of tradition.”
Their new single ‘Holy Show’, released end of last month, also appears on the album.
Somewhat different, it's slower paced and a little more serene. As the band explained to Clash Music: “The song portrays the feeling of ... The Fear, the morning after the night before, where you analyse everything that you did the night before, ways in which you spoke to people, a particular way you stood or ‘did I look too long?’ or ‘did I say that in a weird way. Basically, [the song is about] that silly self-critique you have of yourself when you’re feeling particularly vulnerable.”
Pillow Queens are a band to keep your eye on. A great sound with easy harmonies, they are likely to be an inspiration for other female groups wanting to break onto the indie scene.
Pillow Queens plan to be on tour across Britain and Ireland from February 2021, hitting Bristol at Crofter Rights on May 6th. The album ‘In Waiting’ can be ordered here