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Alternative & Indie - Released February 16, 2018 | Matador

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Even if the "Pavement with Beck's voice" effect is still in operation, Will Toledo alias Car Seat Headrest does have a personality of his own. And a strong one... At just 26 years old, he is throwing out recordings with the rapid, repetitive movements of a compulsive pistachio eater. A pseudo-group born of the overactive imagination of this Virginian who came to Seattle, Car Seat Headrest is resuscitating the American indie rock of the 1990s. The guitars stagger but stay fixed on the melody; the vocals reel but hold the line; and the lyrics juggle everyday melancholy, delicious cynicism and offbeat humour. So it all evokes Pavement and Beck, sure, but also Guided By Voices, the Silver Jews, Dinosaur Jr. or Nirvana, in short, all the most spirited terrorists of the 1990s rock'n'roll underground... With Twin Fantasy (Face To Face), Car Seat Headrest's eleventh studio album, Toledo has decided to re-record an album that came out in 2011. Aware of the potential of the songs that he wrote when he was only 19, he gives them rather more professional treatment here, giving a fantastic musical frame to his intelligent, honest and introspective writing. The tribulations of adolescents and young adults have always been good fuel for great records. And here is even more proof... © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 20, 2016 | Matador

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
If you cranked out 11 homemade albums in just four years, you'd probably want to go big once you had the means to make a for-real long-player for a noted indie label. And though 2016's Teens of Denial isn't Car Seat Headrest's first album for Matador Records, this is the first one founder, frontman, and songwriter Will Toledo built from the ground up for the label. Arriving in 2015, Teens of Style was a re-recorded "best-of" that revisited Toledo's earlier material, but Teens of Denial is a grand-scale 70-minute song cycle about a kid named Joe who is wrestling with the traditional dilemmas of late adolescence and early adulthood. Unlike the lion's share of Toledo's work, Teens of Denial was recorded in a professional studio with a real producer (Steve Fisk) and a band (with Ethan Ives on bass and Andrew Katz on drums). Teens of Denial doesn't sound especially slick (quite the opposite), but it feels big and ambitious; Toledo has a story to tell, and if his vocals are often laconic, they fit the material well, as he re-creates the casual eloquence of a high schooler's mumble and shrug. Teens of Denial is that rarity, an album about teenage life that sounds like it could have been created by a 17-year-old, though few would have the intelligence and discipline to get their ideas on tape with this level of skill. Toledo understands that the circumstances of Joe's life might sometimes seem trivial at first glance, but the emotions behind them, and the lessons doled out and learned, are not. There's a real and powerful wit in these songs, but that doesn't mean Toledo doesn't take Joe's travails seriously, and over the course of these 12 songs, he builds an epic out of the simplest materials. Rock history teaches us you can't will a masterpiece into existence, but with Car Seat Headrest's Teens of Denial, Will Toledo has created something like a novel after previously offering us short stories, and it's a piece of rough-hewn brilliance. ~ Mark Deming
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 13, 2017 | Matador

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Track
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 30, 2015 | Matador

Car Seat Headrest began as an outlet for Will Toledo's songs of youthful joy and frustration, often recorded in the back seat of the family car, hence the band name. After 11 albums' worth of material was released on Bandcamp over a four-year span, Matador Records caught wind of Toledo and signed him up. A pretty savvy move on their part because his songs capture the best aspects of many of the band's they've had on their roster at one point or another. The soaring choruses and homemade sound of Guided by Voices, the offhanded lyrical bent and laconic delivery of Pavement, the bouncing power pop of New Pornographers, the guitar fireworks of Yo La Tengo, the naked honesty of Liz Phair, and the blown-out recording style of Times New Viking are all accounted for, yet Toledo puts it all together in his own idiosyncratic, impressive way. Teens of Style is made up of reworkings of songs from his many albums, taking his favorites and cleaning them up just a bit with the help of drummer Andrew Katz and bassist Jacob Bloom. With tracks that launch themselves out of the speakers like lo-fi anthems ("The Drum," "Sunburned Shirts"), unspool slowly as the guitars clang and hiss ("Times to Die," "Strangers"), or feed the insatiable needs of power pop fanatics who aren't afraid to get a little dirty (the almost impossibly majestic "Something Soon"), the album plays like a greatest-hits collection of a very talented kid and serves as a taste of greatness to come. The passion Toledo injects into the lyrics and vocals isn't likely to fade, his melodic skills are so strong it's hard to imagine that he'll ever run out of steam, and even if his future records don't have the gritty, cheap-as-dirt feel that this record does, it's difficult to see Toledo ever making records that are spotless and lifeless. He has the kind of writing skills and vision that you want to latch onto tightly and follow wherever they might lead. By the end of the album, as the waltzing piano ballad "Oh! Starving" fades, it's impossible not to be knocked out by what has come before and be super stoked for what might come next. ~ Tim Sendra
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 17, 2019 | Matador

William Barnes, a.k.a Will Toledo, is a strange kind of guy. It’s not about his looks - with his messy head of hair and his thick-rimmed glasses, he has more in common with a computer nerd than a rock star. What’s strange is how honest he is. There are few singers so ready to indulge in the weaknesses of their voice - to exploit them, even - with such sincerity and consistency. Car Seat Headrest’s frontman cracks in the higher registers, often substitutes singing with speaking; there are a few approximate passages and false notes. Some will say that’s his signature. Others will say he just can’t sing. Either way, the punk-like aesthetic so willingly embraced by Toledo is an unmistakable element of the Seattle band’s success. After Teens of Denial in 2016, they embarked on a worldwide tour, which they recorded for posterity’s sake. Here’s the result: 9 tracks from 7 different venues, amongst which Ivy, a Frank Ocean cover. Aside from a few new arrangements (Fill in the Blank gets a snazzy new guitar riff)  thanks to the backup of three-piece band Naked Giant, CSH’s sound is mostly the same as their last studio record. Some keys on Drunk Drivers/ Killer Whales bring a bit of variety into the mix, with a resolutely 70s/ slacker rock sound. On Destroyed by Hippie Powers, a third guitar as well as Grant Mullen’s backing vocals give that extra oomph that really help communicate the songs to the audience. Commit Yourself Completely cements Car Seat Headrest’s status as a major indie rock band, with a strong discography and boisterous, energetic live performances. ©Alexis Renaudat/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 2, 2016 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 14, 2017 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 9, 2018 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 19, 2017 | Matador