Pillow Queens – ‘In Waiting’ album review

Pillow Queens have been established as a part of Dublin’s underground arts scene for a while now and are set to find a whole new world of fans with the release of debut album ‘In Waiting’.

The brooding bass and slow-burning emo stylings of ‘Holy Show’ opens the record in style as lead singer and rhythm guitarist Sarah Corcoran declares ‘I’ll roll you up and crack you open’. As the song progresses, there’s space for incredible harmonies, a stadium-baiting guitar solo and a dose of melancholy: ‘If you remember a thing about it, tell me that it’s not bad’. This is followed by the twinkly emo of ‘Child of Prague’. Reminiscent of The Spook School with some Pixies thrown in for good measure, the narrative of this song goes from sitting on a fortune to burying your head in the sand and then how the subject is ‘leaving me on my own, leaving me out in the snow. I’m not going if you’re not with me’. The recent single ‘Handsome Wife’ follows and in a just world this refreshing and vibrant track would be on the A-list of both 6 Music and KEXP.

The next couple of tracks – ‘HowDoILook’ and ‘Liffey’ – have more of a scuzzed-up indie sound although the messages about looking out for your own well-being are incredibly important. ‘A Dog’s Life’ continues in this vein – with a proud declaration that ‘we’re so fucking gorgeous’ – before ‘Gay Girls’ slows things down in its intro before a boisterous chorus celebrates the joys of companionship and community. It reminded us a bit of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ zesty and arty sound.

The smooth and soulful ‘Harvey’ is a waltz-inspired piece, while ‘Brother’ is full of powerful and poignant observations on family: ‘There goes the man I wanna be’. The closing ‘Donaghmede’ slows things down to start with as Sarah urges the subject to live for today (she assures them they can ‘sleep when we’re dead’) before a driving bass line and glitch-filled backing brings the record to a close in style.

Do not wait on Pillow Queens.


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