Choice Covers: Pillow Queens – In Waiting


Posted 4 months ago in Design, Music

Pipeworks june 2021 – Desktop
They announced a deal with Sub Pop Publishing (U.S. Girls, Shabazz Palaces, Shearwater) yesterday for the release of their acclaimed self-released debut In Waiting. Here Sarah Corcoran, vocalist and bass guitarist, from the Pillow Queens explains how the cover came about.

Who did you collaborate with on the cover? How did this come about?

The photographer is an incredibly talented Irish guy named Faolán Carey. We had come across his work a few months before when someone had shared his stuff on instagram. and were instantly drawn to his style. A few months later we started a google doc to share ideas for album artwork. We had been placing images that we thought suited the vibe for a few weeks but nothing had stood out particularly yet. One night, Faolán shared a series of images from a shoot he did with two guys kissing in a car and the moment I saw the image which would eventually become the In Waiting artwork, I knew I wanted it! I attached it to the google doc in the hopes that the girls would agree with me. I then went to a gig in the National Concert Hall and afterwards showed Bridie from SOAK the image and was like ‘I neeeeed this to be the artwork’. The next day I put the image in the groupchat to make sure they’d seen it with the caption ‘what about something like this?’, and one of the girls replied ‘or what about exactly that?’ and we were all in agreement. We sent it to our manager and asked him to give Faolán a shout and he was thrilled to collaborate. We hadn’t met at this stage but organised a photoshoot with him to take some promo images for the album and to get the back sleeve cover taken too. We’ve worked with him a few times now and he’s really a pleasure to work with.

When we had all of the images decided on, we approached Craig Potterton who is a wonderfully talented graphic designer. He worked with us on different fonts, colours and placing and was incredibly patient with us as we meticulously selected our preference for each. The first version he sent over was pretty much perfect so he was a dream to work with.

Did you have a definitive idea as to how you wanted it to look? Was there a starting point and criteria or free reign?

We didn’t have a definitive idea of how we wanted it to look at all. The only criteria we had was that it would be a photograph. Generally, we are super lucky that our taste in music is pretty similar, but we all tend to have really differing art preferences so designing or selecting artwork has always been the most time consuming task for Pillow Queens. Weirdly though, we just knew Faolán’s image was perfect when we saw it.

“One night, Faolán shared a series of images from a shoot he did with two guys kissing in a car and the moment I saw the image which would eventually become the In Waiting artwork, I knew I wanted it! I attached it to the google doc in the hopes that the girls would agree with me.”

Does the final artwork align with the aesthetic and sound of the album? What does it say?

I think we could all confidently say that it does. We’re really happy with how the final record looks, feels and sounds. I guess that was the good thing about having so much free time during the pandemic – we set up our own record label to release the album so we had complete creative control and we took full advantage of that.

Favourite album cover(s)?
Definitely only speaking for myself here but I’d say:

Villagers – The Art of Pretending to Swim

Mitski – Be the Cowboy

Big Thief – Capacity


Solange – A Seat At The Table

Sheer Mag – Need To Feel Your Love

The winner of the Choice Music Awards 2020 will be announced on March 4.
Some additional Pillow talk with the Queens here.

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