Selling out shows in Dublin by the late 2010s, Ireland’s Pillow Queens had honed their moody, muscular indie rock sound and searching lyrical style by the time they recorded their debut album, 2020’s In Waiting. The more introspective Leave the Light On followed in 2022.
Formed in Dublin in 2016, Pillow Queens is led by singer/guitarist/bassists Pamela Connolly and Sarah Corcoran, who rounded the lineup with lead guitarist Cathy McGuinness and drummer Rachel Lyons. Their brief 2016 debut EP, Calm Girls, led to a record deal with Bristol-based Specialist Subject Records. The band’s 2018 single “Favorite” was picked up by BBC Radio 1 and stations across Ireland, resulting in a pair of successful U.K. tours, opening slots for the likes of Idles, Pussy Riot, and Future Islands, and sold-out hometown shows. In the meantime, the song was included on their second EP, June 2020’s State of the State. Pillow Queens released their debut album, In Waiting, three months later on Stargazer and Pillow Queens Records. It was produced by Tommy McLaughlin (Villagers, SOAK). The group then made their U.S. television debut on The Late Late Show with James Corden in January 2021 before signing with Royal Mountain Records that September. Their second album, the McLaughlin-produced Leave the Light On, arrived on the label in April 2022.