Pillow Queens: The Most Exciting Indie-Rocker of 2020 on Catholicism, Coming Out and Community | music

WHen I meet Dublin band Pillow Queens in a pub and pizza place in the city in August, talks range from the city’s housing crisis to a campaign to end direct provision, widely criticized Ireland for housing asylum seekers Gone system. It takes a little while to cause our meeting – the release of his extraordinary debut album In Waiting – to be proudly queued to get a look and come from a generation of passionate, quartet artists who are equally great to make. Are related to. Work and social change.

Guitarist and singer Sara Corcoran says her purpose has evolved since she first took advantage of the gig in 2016. “We wanted an excuse to raise money to rescue this dog.” Since then, he and Pamela Connolly, Rachel Lyons and Kathy McGinness have made a name for themselves as Ireland’s best new band in a country (let alone a city) no less on them. They fuse a punk sensibility with poppy hooks on songs like Holy Show; HowDoILook is a happy ode to positivity in the body. In person, the four-piece echo the energy of their upbeat and melodic indie rock, and don’t see each other much during lockdown, they are upbeat, clear and unchanging – excited to be back in each other’s company Huh.

According to McGinness, when he met his manager in 2017, he came up with a list of “unreasonable requests”: traveling in a double-decker bus, coverage from American radio stations NPR and KXP. “In fairness, we’ve shut down some of them,” she says. Last year he supported Soak on his European tour, and traveled by bus. “People think it’s close quarters, but the bus is too big. And we’re getting used to hiring in Dublin.

Liffey by Pillow Queens – Video

Waiting reduces the understanding that the individual is political. “The way we interact with politics is our everyday work,” says Corcoran, the group’s dominant force. “There has been a lot of progress in Ireland: we’ve got an equal marriage, we’ve voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment, so a law has been made for abortion. These things look good on paper.” But she says that right now There is a long way to go. “It is disheartening to live in a country that is overseeing only minority people who are already doing fine.”

One of the sharpest things about the beginning of Pillow Queens is how it accepts the psychological challenge to positive social change even after the opposite lifetime. The wait ranges from the lift with religious language (“Someday you will have a silver plate on your head”) to the Gay Girls, which is more worrying than this. Talking about the album, Corcoran felt that the religious context in his songwriting is a form of grief. “This relationship that I have with Catholics and spirituality that I had to break away from, because it did not accept me any more.”

He was raised Catholic, attended Catholic school, prayed daily. “That was a real comfort in my life,” she says. But disappointment ensued. “I had a religion teacher who was very strong in his belief that homosexuality was wrong, and whoever was gay was going to hell. My sister before I realized I was gay, so I came out Was, like, ‘Oh my God, my sister is going to hell.’ I think this was the beginning for me to separate myself from it.

‘The way we interact with politics is our everyday’ … Pillow Queens. Photo: Foley Carey

As Corcoran entered the 20th and came to understand his identity, the feeling of isolation intensified: “I thought, this is not for me, because there is no place for me in this. I do not accept that Being a homosexual woman who believes in progress, believes that women are entitled to equal rights. “More details of the Catholic Church’s child abuse surfaced and Corcoran loses faith in a repeat institution across Ireland Looked at his experience: “People stopped giving it a single platform. He did not have the power that he had.”

Giving something that was once so important to him has been a light but complex journey. “I think we all assumed that we had left it behind and immediately stopped caring about it,” he says of his bandmates, who have similar experiences. “It is only now that we are realizing that this is a process, like something else.” That communal process – and a voice to find and match a new community – is at the heart of these waiting: “There goes the man I want to be,” sings over the Condoley brothers: “I love my brothers Hoon and my brothers love me, “paying attention to the importance of a chosen family.

Leon remembers a family member asking what kind of band they were: “‘A gay band? Are you political? Pick one.’ I used to say, we don’t have to do that. “We can be all these things.”

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