Essential New Music: Car Seat Headrest’s “Teens Of Style”


Just because Will Toledo is a newcomer doesn’t mean that he’s new. The Virginia-born, Seattle-based songwriter has released album after album under the name Car Seat Headrest for several years, giving most of them away on his Bandcamp site. So, what made Matador take notice of this possibly monomaniacal bedroom recorder?

It could have something to do with how Toledo’s ragged, nervy productions evoke the likes of Pavement and Guided By Voices. Or how songs like “Something Soon” and “Times To Die” pair knotty verses with unfairly catchy choruses. Many of the songs on Teens Of Style previously appeared on Toledo’s self-released missives, but are reimagined here with new instrumentation and revised lyrics.

But don’t mistake this for some big-budget greatest-hits package. Instead, it’s an introduction to one artist’s strange and wonderful world. It’s rare to fi nd an indie-rock auteur as creative and fully formed as Car Seat Headrest, extensive back catalogue or otherwise.

—Eric Schuman