Car Seat Headrest
Car Seat Headrest
|Origin||Leesburg, Virginia, U.S.|
|Associated acts||Naked Giants, 1 Trait Danger|
Car Seat Headrest is an American indie rock band formed in Leesburg, Virginia, and currently located in Seattle, Washington. The band consists of Will Toledo (vocals, guitar, piano, synthesizers), Ethan Ives (guitar, bass, backing vocals), Seth Dalby (bass), and Andrew Katz (drums, percussion).
Beginning as a solo recording project by Toledo in 2010, Car Seat Headrest self-released 12 albums on the music platform Bandcamp, before signing to Matador Records in 2015. Car Seat Headrest would begin touring as a full band the following year.
2010–2014: Lo-fi and solo releases, from 1 to How to Leave Town
Car Seat Headrest began as the solo project of singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Will Toledo shortly after he graduated high school. Toledo had previously released music under the alias Nervous Young Men, but after struggling to establish an audience, he decided to change tactics, choosing to try and release more experimental songs anonymously. Toledo chose the name "Car Seat Headrest" as he would often record the vocals to his early albums in the back seat of his car for privacy.
Throughout the summer of 2010, Toledo released his first four albums under the Car Seat Headrest name: 1, 2, 3, and 4. 1 and 2 incorporated less traditional song structures, with stream-of-consciousness lyrics, whereas 3 and 4 would begin to cement his lo-fi indie rock style. Following the numbered albums, Toledo began attending classes at Virginia Commonwealth University, releasing the Sunburned Shirts EP during his first semester. The Sunburned Shirts EP would later be partially combined with his fifth LP, 5, to create his first titled album, My Back Is Killing Me Baby, released in March 2011. Songs culled from 5 would later appear on the b-sides compilation album Little Pieces of Paper with "No" Written on Them.
After a difficult and lonely semester at VCU, Toledo transferred to the College of William & Mary, where he would release his next project, Twin Fantasy, a concept album centred around a relationship he was in at the time. Twin Fantasy would later be followed up by 2012's Monomania and Starving While Living EP.
Around this time, Toledo began performing live shows with fellow students Katie Wood, Austin Ruhf, and Christian Northover, recording and releasing a short live album in July 2013 entitled Live at WCWM: Car Seat Headrest at the university's studio. Toledo would release his next project the following month, a two-hour long double album entitled Nervous Young Man. Three of the songs, and the title of the album, were taken from his original project, Nervous Young Men, but had been heavily reworked and re-recorded. Released alongside Nervous Young Man, for those who paid $5 or more, was the outtakes compilation album Disjecta Membra.
Toledo's final solo release was 2014's How to Leave Town, an hour long EP with heavy electronic instrumentation and more ambitious song structures.
2015–2017: Matador Records, Teens of Style and Teens of Denial
In September 2015, Car Seat Headrest announced on Facebook that he had signed an album deal with Matador Records. Toledo, who had recently graduated and moved to Seattle, recruited bassist Jacob Bloom and drummer Andrew Katz through Craigslist to record and tour his next album. In October 2015, Car Seat Headrest released the compilation album Teens of Style, their first to not be self-released exclusively via Bandcamp. Shortly after the album's release, Bloom left the group to attend medical school, and was replaced by bassist Ethan Ives.
Ives played bass throughout most of the recordings for the band's following release, but would later switch to guitar and other instruments, with Seth Dalby taking over on bass. Ives and Dalby were later cemented in these positions during live shows and future releases. The new album, created with traditional studio processes, Teens of Denial, was released on May 20, 2016. The album received universal acclaim, and brought the band a new wave of popularity.
In 2017, Car Seat Headrest released an alternate mix of their single, "War Is Coming (If You Want It)" through Bandcamp for one day, with profits going to the Transgender Law Center. The original mix of the track was released ten days later.
On December 13, 2017, the band released a re-recorded version of "Beach Life-In-Death", the second track on Twin Fantasy, through Spotify without prior announcement. This sparked fan rumours that the album would be re-recorded and released the following year. On December 27, 2017, an Amazon listing detailing a re-recorded version of Twin Fantasy was found by fans, and subsequently uploaded to the Car Seat Headrest subreddit. This was followed up by a listing on SRCVinyl.com with the date February 16, 2018.
2018–2019: Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) and Commit Yourself Completely
On January 9, 2018, Matador Records formally announced the release of the re-recording, entitled Twin Fantasy (Face to Face), alongside a re-release of the original album. Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) was released via Matador on February 16. The original, which has been re-titled Twin Fantasy (Mirror to Mirror), was released on vinyl as a part of Record Store Day on April 21. On February 15, 2018, the band released a cover of "Fallen Horses" by Smash Mouth, who returned the favour by covering "Something Soon". Around the same time, they began touring with fellow Seattle-based band, Naked Giants, as a part of the group's expanded live lineup.
In August 2018, when asked about new material, Toledo confirmed that he was “demoing out stuff in Ableton,” adding “there might be some stuff that surprises people who only know us as a rock band, but I don’t think it will come as a surprise to people who are checking out all the deep cuts". In January 2019, Andrew Katz confirmed the band was recording new music through a video uploaded on Instagram.
Following the tease of new music, the band began experimenting with new material at various live shows in December 2018, debuting the tracks "Weightlifters", "Hollywood", "Stop Lying To Me", and "You Know There's Someone Out There", soon followed by "Can't Cool Me Down" in February and March 2019 performances. All were officially released on the next album except for "Stop Lying To Me" and "You Know There's Someone Out There".
On June 12, 2019, Car Seat Headrest announced a new live album titled Commit Yourself Completely, featuring official recordings of performances from the Twin Fantasy tour from 2018. It was released the following week on June 17.
2020–present: Making a Door Less Open
On February 26, 2020, Car Seat Headrest announced their first studio album consisting of wholly new material since 2016's Teens of Denial, Making a Door Less Open. This announcement coincided with the release of "Can't Cool Me Down", the first single and second track off the album, and a release date of May 1, 2020. It marks a stylistic divergence from previous material, Toledo describing the album as containing elements of EDM, hip hop, futurism, doo-wop, soul and rock and roll. Three more singles were released to promote the album between March and April of that year: "Martin", "Hollywood" and "There Must Be More Than Blood". The release also coincided with the introduction of Trait, an alternative persona of Toledo's, featured prominently wearing a modified gas mask with blinking LED lights for eyes. The character had originally been created for the group's "comedic" side project, 1 Trait Danger, featuring Toledo alongside drummer Andrew Katz.
Making a Door Less Open was released with three separate versions across different formats: vinyl, CD and streaming, each with variations in track-list and specific musical elements. The album received a mixed reaction from fans, who pointed out the many divergences from the band's previous works, but received an overall score of 77 on review aggregate site Metacritic. Toledo noted that he and the band were working on a companion album for their latest release, while also looking for ways to improve the Trait mask to incorporate it into live performances.
AllMusic biographer Mark Deming wrote that Car Seat Headrest created "moody and introspective lo-fi pop tunes that are melodic but structurally ambitious at once". Writing for Pitchfork, Jeremy Gordon stated that on Teens of Denial, "Will Toledo reaffirms that he is ahead of the pack as an imaginative singer-songwriter, capable of crafting dynamic indie rock." Ian Cohen of Pitchfork also described Toledo's music as "dense, confounding music that most often captures the giddy thrill of having access to recording equipment, of finally put a sound to the voice in your head." Car Seat Headrest's influences include Radiohead, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Daniel Johnston, Destroyer, Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, Leonard Cohen, of Montreal, Modest Mouse, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sufjan Stevens, Swans, They Might Be Giants, Why?, R.E.M., The Who, Nirvana, The Blackout, Neil Diamond, William Onyeabor, The Clash, The Cars, James Brown, DEVO, Queen, Rod Stewart, and Green Day.
- Will Toledo – vocals, guitar, keyboards (2010–present), drums, bass (2010–2015)
- Ethan Ives – guitar, backing vocals (2016–present), bass guitar (2015–2016)
- Andrew Katz – drums, backing vocals (2014–present)
- Seth Dalby – bass guitar (2011, 2016–present)
Touring members (Naked Giants)
- Grant Mullen – guitar, backing vocals (2016, 2018−2019)
- Gianni Aiello – guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (2016, 2018−2019)
- Henry LaVallee – additional percussion (2016, 2018−2019)
- Katie Wood – guitar, backing vocals (2012–2014)
- Austin Ruhf – bass guitar, backing vocals (2012–2014)
- Christian Northover – drums (2012–2014)
- Will Marsh – guitar (2012)
- Jacob Bloom – bass guitar (2014–2015)
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|My Back Is Killing Me Baby||
|Nervous Young Man||
|Teens of Style||—[A]||—||—||117||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Teens of Denial||
|Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)||
|Making a Door Less Open||
|"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released|
- Live at WCWM (2013)
- Commit Yourself Completely (2019)
- Little Pieces of Paper with "No" Written on Them (2010)
- Disjecta Membra (2013)
|"No Passion"||2015||—||—||—||—||Teens of Style|
|"Times to Die"||—||—||—||—|
|"Vincent"||2016||—||—||—||34||Teens of Denial|
|"Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales"||—||—||—||—|
|"Fill in the Blank"||—||—||—||—|
|"Destroyed by Hippie Powers"||—||—||—||—|
|"War Is Coming (If You Want It)"||2017||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|
|"Beach Life-In-Death"||—||—||—||—||Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)|
|"Nervous Young Inhumans"||2018||—||—||—||44|
|"My Boy (Twin Fantasy)"||—||—||—||—|
|"Can't Cool Me Down"||2020||—||—||—||—||Making A Door Less Open|
|"There Must Be More Than Blood" ||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
- Teens of Style did not enter the US Billboard 200, but peaked at number 19 on the US Heatseekers Albums Chart.
- Making a Door Less Open did not enter the Dutch Album Top 100, but peaked at number 16 on the Dutch Vinyl Albums Chart.
- Making a Door Less Open did not enter the UK Albums Chart, but peaked at number 44 on the UK Album Downloads Chart.
- carseatheadrest (2018-06-29), Car Seat Headrest - I Haven't Done Sh*t This Year (TIDAL Documentary), retrieved 2018-07-17
- "Car Seat Headrest Grows up on Bandcamp". The New Yorker. November 2, 2015. Archived from the original on November 25, 2015. Retrieved 2016-01-10.
- "A Guide To All Of Car Seat Headrest's Pre-Fame Albums (All 11 Of Them)". UPROXX. 2016-10-28. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
- "100 minutes of solitude, by Car Seat Headrest". Car Seat Headrest. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
- "My Back Is Killing Me Baby, by Car Seat Headrest". Car Seat Headrest. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
- "Little Pieces Of Paper With "No" Written On Them, by Car Seat Headrest". Car Seat Headrest. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
- Vozick-Levinson, Simon (2015-11-24). "Car Seat Headrest: Dorm-Room Prodigy to Indie-Rock Sensation". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
- "Live at WCWM: Car Seat Headrest, by Car Seat Headrest". Why Me Records. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
- "Nervous Young Man, by Car Seat Headrest". car seat headrest. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
- Elliot, Sean (2013-08-31). "Nervous Young Man by Car Seat Headrest". The Daily Album. Archived from the original on 2016-06-23. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
- we got a label Archived 2018-01-15 at the Wayback MachineSeptember 1, 2015. Facebook.
- Indieheads Podcast (2018-02-17), Indieheads Podcast Episode #111: Andrew Katz vs. The Indieheads Podcast, retrieved 2018-08-16
- KEXP, Car Seat Headrest - Full Performance (Live on KEXP), retrieved 2019-01-30
- Coming May 20 : Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial Archived 2016-03-27 at the Wayback Machine. March 24, 2016. Matador Records.
- Rettig, James (August 14, 2017). "Car Seat Headrest – "War Is Coming (If You Want It)"". Stereogum. Archived from the original on August 15, 2017.
- ""Beach Life in Death" by Car Seat Headrest Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
- Twin Fantasy, Matador Records, 2018-02-16, retrieved 2017-12-29
- "Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy 2XLP Vinyl". www.srcvinyl.com. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
- "Coming February 16 : Car Seat Headrest – 'Twin Fantasy' ; "Nervous Young Inhumans" Video Premiere". Matablog. Matador Records. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
- "Smash Mouth Cover Car Seat Headrest: Listen". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
- Ingegneri, Katie (November 22, 2019). "A Conversation with Will Toledo and An Appreciation for Car Seat Headrest". Medium. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
- Graff, Gary (2018-03-08). "Naked Giants Premiere 'Sluff' Video, Talk Playing With Car Seat Headrest". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
- Listen to "An Interview with Car Seat Headrest" posted by Matt Wilkinson on Apple Music., retrieved 2019-05-01
- "Andrew Katz on Instagram: "Loser Tuesdays"". Instagram. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
- "Car Seat Headrest on Twitter: "Heard some confusion about whether this is an 'unplugged' show...it is a full set from the full band, with lots of plugs! AND...we're trying out some new material!"". Archived from the original on 2019-05-31.
- "Car Seat Headrest Concert Setlist at The Vera Project, Seattle on December 8 2018". Setlist.fm. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
- "Car Seat Headrest Brings Down the House at Rams Head Live". Archived from the original on 2019-05-31.
- Shaffer, Claire (June 12, 2019). "Car Seat Headrest Announce Live Album 'Commit Yourself Completely". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
- "Car Seat Headrest Announce New Live Album: "Commit Yourself Completely"". Retrieved 12 June 2019.
- Leas, Ryan (26 February 2020). "Car Seat Headrest Announces 'Making A Door Less Open'; Hear "Can't Cool Me Down"". Stereogum. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
- "Car Seat Headrest share new song 'Martin'". DIY Magazine. March 23, 2020. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
- Pappademas, Alex (April 23, 2020). "The New Face of Car Seat Headrest". The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Toledo, Will. "Newness And Strangeness". Car Seat Headrest. Archived from the original on April 26, 2020. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
- Rietmulder, Michael (May 1, 2020). "Car Seat Headrest's reinvention: How a comedy EDM project redirected the Seattle indie rock stars' new album". Seattle Times. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- Jurado, Andrea (May 11, 2020). "Entrevista con Car Seat Headrest". Indie Rocks! (in Spanish). Retrieved May 11, 2020.
- Fernando, Pérez (May 19, 2020). "Car Seat Headrest: «Si hay una regla que siempre he seguido es que nada está fuera de los límites»" [Car Seat Headrest: "If there is a rule that I have always followed is that nothing is out of the limits"]. El Quinto Beatle (in Spanish). Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- Pardo, Miguel (May 13, 2020). "Conversando por Whatsapp con Will Toledo (Car Seat Headrest)" [Chatting through Whatsapp with Will Toledo (Car Seat Headrest)]. Binaural.es (in Spanish). Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "Making a Door Less Open by Car Seat Headrest Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
- Deming, Mark. "Car Seat Headrest | Biography & History". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 9 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-23. Retrieved 2016-05-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Listen to "Beast Monster Thing (Love Isn't Love Enough)" by Car Seat Headrest, retrieved 2020-03-06
- "Why Car Seat Headrest Is The Indie Rock Hero We've Been Waiting For". Consequence of Sound. 2016-04-14. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
- "even when I dream of you: q&a with peyton thomas". car seat headrest. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
- "Car Seat Headrest". What The Sound. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
- "Car Seat Headrest cover story: Will Toledo's 12-album overnight success story". Loud And Quiet. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
- McGehee, Cate (September 11, 2015). "Adult of Style: Car Seat Headrest's Teen Confessions Took Him from Bandcamp Stardom to a Real Band". Vice.
- "Sounds of Denial, a playlist by Car Seat Headrest on Spotify". Spotify. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
- "Car Seat Headrest – Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- "Car Seat Headrest – Billboard Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 11 May 2020". No. 1575. Australian Recording Industry Association. May 11, 2020. Cite magazine requires
- "Discografie Car Seat Headrest". ultratop.be/nl/ Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 2016-09-20.
- "Belgian Positions (Wallonie)". ultratop.be. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
- "Dutch Charts - Car Seat Headrest". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- "portuguesecharts.com - Discography Car Seat Headrest". portuguesecharts.com. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
- Peaks in Scotland:
- Twin Fantasy (Face to Face): "Official Scottish Albums Chart: 23 February 2018". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
- Making a Door Less Open: "Official Scottish Albums Chart: 08 May 2020". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- "spanishcharts.com - Discography Car Seat Headrest". spanishcharts.com. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
- Peaks of Car Seat Headrest in the United Kingdom:
- "Car Seat Headrest – Billboard Heatseekers". Billboard. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
- Minsker, Evan (February 26, 2020). "Car Seat Headrest Announce New Album and Tour, Share New Song: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
- "Dutch Charts - Vinyl 33 - 09/05/2020". dutchcharts.nl. May 9, 2020. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
- "Official Album Downloads Chart Top 100 08 May 2020 - 14 May 2020". Official Charts Company. May 8, 2020. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
- "Starving While Living | Car Seat Headrest". Carseatheadrest.bandcamp.com. Archived from the original on 2016-05-04. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
- "How To Leave Town | Car Seat Headrest". Carseatheadrest.bandcamp.com. Archived from the original on 2016-06-01. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
- "Car Seat Headrest – Chart History: Triple A Songs". Billboard. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
- "Car Seat Headrest – Chart History: Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
- "Car Seat Headrest – Chart History: Rock Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
- "Car Seat Headrest – Mexico Ingles Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
- "FMQB Airplay Archive: SubModern Rock". Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report, Incorporated. Archived from the original on October 6, 2016. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- Rettig, James (August 14, 2017). "Car Seat Headrest – "War Is Coming (If You Want It)"". Stereogum. Archived from the original on August 16, 2017. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
- "Future Releases on Alternative Radio Stations". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on January 15, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
- Alternative Acoustic. YouTube. from the original on April 23rd, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020