As Molly used to say, “Do yourself a favour” and check out Teens Of Denial, the new album by Car Seat Headrest.
Not heard of him/them?
You’re going to because it’s rare that a young musician hits the mainstream this fully formed.
Will Toledo, the Seattle-based 23-year-old who records as Car Seat Headrest, sounds like every cool indie band/star you’ve ever loved — Eels, Pavement, The Strokes, R.E.M, Ben Kweller, et al —mixed into
one… and yet he somehow sounds distinctly new.
If anyone’s going to lead the resurgence of indie rock in the face of the onslaught of overproduced auto-tuned pop, it’s this guy.
Although Toledo is set to take the mainstream by the throat, he has been bubbling along on the margins of the music industry since 2010, recording 11 albums and releasing them online through Bandcamp.
Check them out here: https://carseatheadrest.bandcamp.com/
Toledo’s lyrics are angsty, playful, funny, honest — “Normal life is borin’ / but superstardom is close to post-mortem.”; “You have no right to be depressed
You haven’t tried hard enough to like it” — and he’s a gifted vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, as comfortable playing soulful piano as driving, moshable guitar.
As a DIY producer, he’s also not afraid to take chances — the 12-track, 70-minute album features the eight-and-a-half minute track “Cosmic Hero” and the even more epic and amazing 11-minute “The Ballad Of The Costa Concordia”.
His band name’s came from his original “recording studio”, which was the back seat of his car, with two headrests as his only “audience”.
Toledo wowed a larger audience last year with Teens Of Style, his first release through Matador, which comprised re-recordings of previously available tracks and a new composition
But Teens Of Denial — which sees him recording with an actual band for the first time — is going to make him a star.
It’s hard to pick the “best” track from such a diverse and clever album, but Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales is a great place to start.