Car Seat Headrest, “Teens of Style”

CarSeatHeadrest_2015_TeensofStyleCar Seat Headrest
Teens of Style
MATADOR
7/10

Rather than an all-new stack of songs from twenty-two-year-old singer-songwriter Will Toledo, Teens of Style is a magical set of old tracks that he’s re-recorded for people who’ve heard the name but can’t quite place the face. Without rolling credits, it’s hard to know whether his one-man-band has expanded its roster, or if it’s just that he’s playing louder and with a more fully realized zeal. Either way, Car Seat Headrest is bigger than it was previously.

Like playwright Eugene O’Neill on a lo-fi prog-rock jag, Toledo dreams drearily and parenthetically—”I want to put my foot through a window / (I document my mind loss) / I want to romanticize my headfuck (through instruments of wordplay)”—on the crinkly “Something Soon,” while the synthy “Maud Gone” and “The Drum” follow similar trajectories. Like a glummer Animal Collective, Toledo’s raw, meaty guitars and mumbled hum of a voice make the silly lyricism of “Los Borrachos (I Don’t Have Any Hope Left, But The Weather Is Nice)” more real and the honesty of “Strangers” gently surreal. Teens of Style might not be new, but it’s definitely fresh now.

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