Car Seat Headrest doesn’t necessarily do anything special. The brainchild of front man Will Toledo, is just a guy, his guitar, and his band making songs about his feelings. Nonetheless, the lyrics are so sharp and the quality of music so high, that what they produce is something that makes this band truly unique.
Will Toledo was born in Leesburg, Washington, and at just 24 years of age makes me question what I’ve accomplished with my own life. After releasing a staggering twelve albums through Bandcamp on his own, including 2011’s Twin Fantasy, which earned him a sizeable amount of notoriety, he was signed on by Matador Records. At this point, he moved to Seattle and released Teens of Style, a compilation album comprised of songs from his previous work.
The move proved successful and, after Will Toledo found himself a band, Car Seat Headrest released their first proper studio album, Teens of Denial, in 2016 which deservedly received many accolades from the likes of Pitchfork and Rolling Stone. The album is a compelling journey through depression in our modern age, balanced expertly by catchy hooks, intoxicating changes of tempo and a grungy feel which ultimately leaves you feeling uplifted. It truly seems incredible that Toledo has the ability to make depression something worth rocking to, but he ably accomplishes the feat.
The band is named after Toledo’s will for privacy while recording his first album, which led him to record the vocals in the backseat of his car. As his confidence as a songwriter has grown, so has his ambition to make truly interesting and complex music, and I am personally excited to see where this band will go in the future.
Car Seat Headrest, unfortunately, have no solo shows in Toronto scheduled for the near future but they will be performing at the Way Home Music Festival this year, in addition to Osheaga’s Music Festival, and are definitely worth seeing.