Album: Leave The Light On
Artist: Pillow Queens
Label: Royal Mountain Records
Pillow Queens' sophomore album, Leave The Light On, is fantastic! With incredible lyricism and beautiful backing tracks, this album is one of my favorites of the year so far. Pillow Queens is a four-piece indie rock band from Ireland that began releasing music in 2016. Leave The Light On is an excellent second album for the group as it builds on the sound they created with previous works. The album's overall mood is somewhat melancholy, with lyrics that reflect the intricacies of interpersonal relationships; LTLO feels like an exploration of the positive and negative of the everyday. Leave The Light On is intimate; it discusses insecurity, self-acceptance, as well as the feelings of anxiety that come with starting a band and breaking into the music industry.
The songs Be By Your Side and My Body Moves reflect your relationship with yourself. The songs make you contemplate who you are as a person. Be By Your Side is raw, reminiscent of a diary entry. This raw diary-like structure is seen too in Try, Try, Try. While Be By Your Side puts into words the feeling of exhaustion you get from trying to mask your perceived shortcomings and vulnerabilities, My Body Moves explores the process of discovering who you are, accepting who you were, and growing as time passes. These songs complement each other by offering a ballad about the desire to mask one's flaws for appearances while the other urges the listener toward acceptance. My Body Moves makes you feel nostalgic for someone who isn't quite you anymore.
Pillow Queens' lyricism and talent shine through this entire album. LTLO takes the vitality of the ordinary and compares it to its idealization. Pillow Queens' album feels well-rounded and balanced. In their song Historian, they sing about the mundane, how someone's everyday task of making coffee or going to work can feel incredibly comforting and endearing. Historian depicts the idea of not knowing what you have until it is gone. And this feeling of almost ease is further backed by the simplicity of lyrics with an accompaniment that ranges from soft and airy acoustics to bold electric guitars that balance each other, creating auditory interest and keeping the listener engaged through a song of repetition. The other side of the same coin is seen in pieces such as No Good Woman and Well Kept Wife, where this easy ordinary life is almost idealized and seen as an unachievable goal. These two songs explore how this seemingly effortless request can be unfulfilling. Each song is seemingly met with a counter-argument. The love for the simple things in songs like Historian is then met with a distaste for a life of desolation and boredom. The album seems to question the dynamic of platonic and romantic relationships.
I highly recommend this album to anyone looking for a reflective, chill album. The album is similar in content to Mitski but provides the alternative soft rock influences seen in artists such as Soda Blonde, specifically their Terrible Hands EP.
Florence + The Machine
Be By Your Side
Hearts & Minds
House That Sailed Away
Reviewer's Name: Rose Prendergast
Date of Review: 04/05/22