Pillow Queens – ‘State of The State’

By Tom Walsh

On the surface it would seem that ‘State of The State’ offers the perfect soundtrack to a lazy summer. The poppy riffs and delightfully intertwined vocal harmonies conjure images of those sunny days spent out in countryside retreats. However, dig a little deeper and there is an undertone of pain, anxiety and paranoia.

Following up the delightfully infectious debut ‘Calm Girls’ EP, Irish all-girl indie collective Pillow Queens continue to tackle the most difficult of subjects with a wry, knowing smile. ‘State of The State’ delves into the frustrations of modern life and trying to battle against the system that has left us that little bit poorer. Those frustrations are bore out through this 4-track EP. On opener ‘Puppets’ vocalist Sarah Corcoran confronts the stress induced through striving to be a success. Working long hours just to make the slightest change to daily life but the constant knockbacks that ultimately chip away at a person’s mental state (“dead on my feet and down on my luck”).

Through the guise of these upbeat melodies and sunny harmonies it allows Pillow Queens to confront these issues in an altogether different manner. ‘Cuckoo’ takes the role of a rowing couple who are struggling to find an answer for “is this worth it anymore?” as Corcoran serenades a chorus to her figurative beau in the eye-rolling “I’m no better than you and I’m a cuckoo”.

Lead single ‘Favourite’ tries to make sense of managing those unmistakable highs while closer ‘Ragin’ offers an ode to simply letting things go and allowing grudges melt away. ‘State of The State’ is a beautifully crafted EP that offers heartfelt realism in every beat.

TOM WALSH

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