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Car Seat Headrest

Crafting moody and introspective lo-fi pop tunes that are melodic but structurally ambitious at once, Car Seat Headrest is the moniker used by musician and songwriter Will Toledo. Toledo grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he learned about music theory while playing in the student symphonic band in junior high and high school. Toledo majored in English in college, but he was fascinated with music, embracing an eclectic variety of artists from Radiohead, Modest Mouse, and R.E.M. to Animal Collective and Swans, and he began writing songs on his computer, using its built-in microphone and the recording software that was bundled with the machine. While Toledo's recording setup became more advanced with time, he continued to prefer simpler solutions to recording problems, and his project became known as Car Seat Headrest when Toledo discovered he was more comfortable recording vocals in his car than in his home. While Toledo began playing live shows with a rotating team of musicians in Williamsburg (when a reporter asked Toledo about being a fixture on the local scene, he replied, "All that amounts to is being able to play at the local pizza place"), the vast majority of his recordings were cut at home with Toledo handling all the vocals and instruments.

In May 2010, Toledo issued his first Car Seat Headrest album, titled 1, with 2, 3, and 4 all appearing within the next three months; while Toledo would continue to make the first four albums available through his online store, he sheepishly included a warning to potential customers that they were "not very good." December 2010 brought Little Pieces of Paper with "No" Written on Them, which Toledo described as "B-sides and rarities and generally just awful s**t," but with March 2011's My Back Is Killing Me Baby, Toledo finally made an album he felt didn't require a warning about its inferior quality, and Car Seat Headrest began winning the attention of critics and lo-fi fans around the world with Twin Fantasy, released in November 2011. The year 2012 brought two more albums, Monomania and Starving While Living, and in August 2013 Toledo released Nervous Young Man. Deciding he needed to break away from the places where he grew up and studied, Toledo left Virginia and moved to Seattle, Washington, where he assembled a new lineup of Car Seat Headrest and continued to busy himself with home recording. October 2014 brought another particularly personal work, How to Leave Town, which earned enthusiastic reviews on the music blogosphere, and led to Toledo signing a deal with Matador Records, who released Teens of Style, featuring new versions of several of Car Seat Headrest's older tunes, in October 2015.

In May 2016, Toledo released an album of new Car Seat Headrest material, Teens of Denial. The album, which melded lo-fi noisemaking with a clean and ambitious production, made music news headlines shortly before its release. One of the album's tracks, "Just What I Needed/Not What I Needed," interpolated a few bars of the Cars' classic "Just What I Needed." At the last minute, Cars frontman and songwriter Ric Ocasek declined permission for Car Seat Headrest to use the excerpt from his song. The initial run of Teens of Denial on vinyl and CD had to be destroyed, but the digital version of the album was released as scheduled, with the problematic track replaced with a reworked version, "Not What I Needed." ~ Mark Deming
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Unforgiving Girl (She's Not A Single Version) (Single)

1. Unforgiving Girl (She's Not A Single Version)

x

Track List: Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales (Single)

1. Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales (Single Version)

x

Track List: Teens Of Denial (Explicit)

1. Fill In The Blank

2. Vincent

3. Destroyed By Hippie Powers

4. (Joe Gets Kicked Out Of School For Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn't A Problem)

5. Just What I Needed / Not Just What I Needed

7. 1937 State Park

8. Unforgiving Girl (She's Not An)

9. Cosmic Hero

10. The Ballad Of The Costa Concordia

11. Connect The Dots (The Saga Of Frank Sinatra)

12. Joe Goes To School

x

Track List: Fill In The Blank (Single)

1. Fill In The Blank

x

Track List: Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales

1. Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales

x

Track List: Teens Of Style

1. Sunburned Shirts

2. The Drum

3. Something Soon

4. No Passion

5. Times To Die

6. Psst, Teenagers, Take Off Your Clo

7. Strangers

8. Maud Gone

9. Los Barrachos (I Don't Have Any Hope Left, But The Weather Is Nice)

10. Bad Role Models, Old Idols Exhumed (Psst, Teenagers, Put Your Clothes Back O)

11. Oh! Starving

x

Track List: Something Soon

1. Something Soon

x

Track List: No Passion

1. No Passion

x

Track List: How to Leave Town

1. The Ending of Dramamine

2. Beast Monster Thing (Love Isn't Love Enough)

3. Kimochi Warui (When? When? When? When? When? When? When?)

4. I-94 W (832 Mi)

5. You're in Love with Me

6. America (Never Been)

7. I Want You to Know That I'm Awake/i Hope That You're Asleep

8. Is This Dust Really from the Titanic?

9. Hey, Space Cadet (Beast Monster Thing in Space)

x

Track List: Living While Starving - EP

1. It's Only Sex

2. Reuse The Cels

3. I Hate Living

4. Devil Moon

5. Oh! Starving

x

Track List: Monomania

1. Romantic Theory

2. Misheard Lyrics (Feat. Nora Knight)

3. Times To Die

4. Overexposed (Enjoy)

5. Los Borrachos (I Don't Have Any Hope Left, But The Weather Is Nice)

6. Souls

7. Maud Gone

8. Sleeping With Strangers

9. Anchorite (Love You Very Much)

x

Track List: My Back Is Killing Me Baby

1. The Drum

2. Happy News For Sadness

3. Sunburned Shirts

4. Stoop Kid

5. Something Soon

6. No Passion

7. Father, Flesh In Rags

8. Strangers

9. Lawns

10. P.O.W.

11. Open-Mouthed Boy

x

Track List: Nervous Young Man

1. Boxing Day

2. We Can't Afford (Your Depression Anymore)

3. Don't Remind Me

4. Homes

5. Afterglow

6. Jerks

7. Broken Birds (Rest In Pieces)

8. The Gun Song (No Trigger Version)

9. Goodbye Love

10. I Can Play The Piano

11. Crows (Rest In Bigger Pieces Mix)

12. I Wanna Sweat

13. Burning Man

14. Dreams Fall Hard

15. Plane Crash Blues (I Can't Play The Piano)

16. Big Jacket

17. Death At The Movies

18. Jus' Tired

19. Some Strange Angel

20. Knife In The Coffee

x

Track List: Twin Fantasy

1. My Boy (Twin Fantasy)

2. Beach Life-In-Death

3. Stop Smoking

4. Sober To Death

5. Nervous Young Inhumans

6. Bodys

7. Cute Thing

8. High To Death

9. Famous Prophets (Minds)

10. Twin Fantasy (Those Boys)

x

Track List: Vincent (Single)

1. Vincent

Comments

Report as inappropriate
The best. I was actually listening while sitting upside down in my car seat, after finding that it's a very good studying position. You rock!
Report as inappropriate
Oh my wow I love this. Maud Gone is great. I expect to be listening to this a lot more :)
Report as inappropriate
I gotta keep my eye on this one. I like what he is up too. Teens of denial is really good.

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