Car Seat Headrest

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Car Seat Headrest
Car Seat Headrest, 100 Club, 2016.jpg
Will Toledo performing with Car Seat Headrest at 100 Club in London, England in June 2016
Background information
OriginLeesburg, Virginia, United States
Years active2010–present
Associated actsNaked Giants, 1 Trait Danger
  • Will Toledo
  • Ethan Ives
  • Andrew Katz
  • Seth Dalby
Past members
  • Katie Wood
  • Austin Ruhf
  • Christian Northover
  • Will Marsh
  • Jacob Bloom

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), 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[edit]

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.[1] 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.[2]

Throughout the summer of 2010, Toledo released his first four albums under the Car Seat Headrest name: 1, 2, 3, and 4.[1] 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.[3] The Sunburned Shirts EP would later be partially combined with his fifth LP, 5,[4] to create his first titled album, My Back Is Killing Me Baby, released in March 2011.[5] Songs culled from 5 would later appear on the b-sides compilation album Little Pieces of Paper with "No" Written on Them.[6]

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[7], 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.[8] 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.[9][10]

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[edit]

In September 2015, Car Seat Headrest announced on Facebook that he had signed an album deal with Matador Records.[11] 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, the 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.[12]

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.[13] The new album, created with traditional studio processes, Teens of Denial, was released on May 20, 2016.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17] This was followed up by a listing on with the date February 16, 2018.[18][19]

2018–present: Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) and Commit Yourself Completely[edit]

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, Car Seat Headrest released a cover of "Fallen Horses" by Smash Mouth, who returned the favour by covering "Something Soon".[20]

Around the same time, Car Seat Headrest began touring with fellow Seattle-based band, Naked Giants, as a part of the group's expanded live lineup.[21]

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".[22] In January 2019, Andrew Katz confirmed the band was recording new music through a video uploaded on Instagram.[23]

Following the tease of new music, the band began experimenting with new material at various live shows in December 2018, debuting the tracks "Weightlifters" and "Can't Cool Me Down" at future performances.[24][25] These tracks are expected to make an appearance on the band's next release.[26]

On June 12, 2019, Car Seat Headrest announced a new live album titled Commit Yourself Completely, featuring official recordings of performances from their most recent tour. It was released the following week on June 17.[27]


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".[28] 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."[29] 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.[1][30][31][32][33][34][35]



  • 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)


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions



  • Released: May 1, 2010
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: DL
  • Released: June 1, 2010
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: DL
  • Released: July 16, 2010
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: DL
  • Released: August 16, 2010
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: DL
My Back Is Killing Me Baby
  • Released: March 26, 2011
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: CS, DL
Twin Fantasy
  • Released: November 2, 2011
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: CD, CS, DL, LP
  • Released: August 1, 2012
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: CD, DL
Nervous Young Man
  • Released: August 23, 2013
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: DL
Teens of Style
  • Released: October 30, 2015
  • Label: Matador (OLE-1088)
  • Format: CD, CS, DL, LP
[A] 117
Teens of Denial
  • Released: May 20, 2016
  • Label: Matador (OLE-1091)
  • Format: CD, DL, LP
180 15 121 82 198
Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)
  • Released: February 16, 2018
  • Label: Matador
  • Format: CD, CS, DL, LP
92 3 43 200 88 [B] 18 29 96 68
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released

Live albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Little Pieces of Paper With "No" Written on Them (2010)
  • Disjecta Membra (2013)[10]

Extended plays[edit]

  • Starving While Living (2012)[48]
  • How to Leave Town (2014)[49]


Year Title MEX
2015 "No Passion" Teens of Style
"Something Soon"[51]
"Times to Die"
2016 "Vincent" 34 Teens of Denial
"Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales"
"Fill in the Blank"
"Destroyed by Hippie Powers"
2017 "War Is Coming (If You Want It)"[52] Non-album single
"Beach Life-In-Death" Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)
2018 "Nervous Young Inhumans"[53] 44
"Cute Thing"
"My Boy (Twin Fantasy)"


  1. ^ Teens of Style did not enter the US Billboard 200, but peaked at number 19 on the US Heatseekers Albums Chart.[46]
  2. ^ Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) did not enter the NZ Top 40 Albums Chart, but peaked at number 1 on the NZ Heatseekers Albums Chart.[47]


  1. ^ a b c carseatheadrest (2018-06-29), Car Seat Headrest - I Haven't Done Sh*t This Year (TIDAL Documentary), retrieved 2018-07-17
  2. ^ "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.
  3. ^ "A Guide To All Of Car Seat Headrest's Pre-Fame Albums (All 11 Of Them)". UPROXX. 2016-10-28. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  4. ^ "100 minutes of solitude, by Car Seat Headrest". Car Seat Headrest. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  5. ^ "My Back Is Killing Me Baby, by Car Seat Headrest". Car Seat Headrest. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  6. ^ "Little Pieces Of Paper With "No" Written On Them, by Car Seat Headrest". Car Seat Headrest. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  7. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (2015-11-24). "Car Seat Headrest: Dorm-Room Prodigy to Indie-Rock Sensation". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  8. ^ "Live at WCWM: Car Seat Headrest, by Car Seat Headrest". Why Me Records. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
  9. ^ "Nervous Young Man, by Car Seat Headrest". car seat headrest. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  10. ^ a b 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.
  11. ^ we got a label Archived 2018-01-15 at the Wayback MachineSeptember 1, 2015. Facebook.
  12. ^ Indieheads Podcast (2018-02-17), Indieheads Podcast Episode #111: Andrew Katz vs. The Indieheads Podcast, retrieved 2018-08-16
  13. ^ KEXP, Car Seat Headrest - Full Performance (Live on KEXP), retrieved 2019-01-30
  14. ^ Coming May 20 : Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial Archived 2016-03-27 at the Wayback Machine. March 24, 2016. Matador Records.
  15. ^ Rettig, James (August 14, 2017). "Car Seat Headrest – "War Is Coming (If You Want It)"". Stereogum. Archived from the original on August 15, 2017.
  16. ^ ""Beach Life in Death" by Car Seat Headrest Review | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2017-12-29.
  17. ^ Twin Fantasy, Matador Records, 2018-02-16, retrieved 2017-12-29
  18. ^ "Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy 2XLP Vinyl". Retrieved 2017-12-29.
  19. ^ "Coming February 16 : Car Seat Headrest – 'Twin Fantasy' ; "Nervous Young Inhumans" Video Premiere". Matablog. Matador Records. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  20. ^ "Smash Mouth Cover Car Seat Headrest: Listen". Retrieved 2018-02-16.
  21. ^ Graff, Gary (2018-03-08). "Naked Giants Premiere 'Sluff' Video, Talk Playing With Car Seat Headrest". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  22. ^ Listen to “An Interview with Car Seat Headrest” posted by Matt Wilkinson on Apple Music., retrieved 2019-05-01
  23. ^ "Andrew Katz on Instagram: "Loser Tuesdays"". Instagram. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
  24. ^ "Car Seat Headrest on Twitter: "Heard some confusion about whether this is an 'unplugged' 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.
  25. ^ "Car Seat Headrest Concert Setlist at Royale, Boston on February 14, 2019". Archived from the original on 2019-05-31.
  26. ^ "Car Seat Headrest Brings Down the House at Rams Head Live". Archived from the original on 2019-05-31.
  27. ^ "Car Seat Headrest Announce New Live Album: "Commit Yourself Completely"". Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  28. ^ Deming, Mark. "Car Seat Headrest | Biography & History". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 9 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-23. Retrieved 2016-05-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  31. ^ "even when I dream of you: q&a with peyton thomas". car seat headrest. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  32. ^ "Car Seat Headrest". What The Sound. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
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  34. ^ McGehee, Cate (September 11, 2015). "Adult of Style: Car Seat Headrest's Teen Confessions Took Him from Bandcamp Stardom to a Real Band". Vice.
  35. ^ "Sounds of Denial, a playlist by Car Seat Headrest on Spotify". Spotify. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  36. ^ "Car Seat Headrest – Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  37. ^ "Car Seat Headrest – Billboard Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  38. ^ "Discografie Car Seat Headrest". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 2016-09-20.
  39. ^ "Belgian Positions (Wallonie)". Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  40. ^ "Dutch Charts - Car Seat Headrest". Archived from the original on 2016-09-16.
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  42. ^ " - Discography Car Seat Headrest". Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  43. ^ Peaks in Scotland:
  44. ^ " - Discography Car Seat Headrest". Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  45. ^ Peaks of Car Seat Headrest in the United Kingdom:
  46. ^ "Car Seat Headrest – Billboard Heatseekers". Billboard. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  47. ^ "NZ Heatseeker Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. February 26, 2018. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  48. ^ "Starving While Living | Car Seat Headrest". Archived from the original on 2016-05-04. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  49. ^ "How To Leave Town | Car Seat Headrest". Archived from the original on 2016-06-01. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  50. ^ "Car Seat Headrest – Mexico Ingles Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  51. ^ "FMQB Airplay Archive: SubModern Rock". Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report, Incorporated. Archived from the original on October 6, 2016. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  52. ^ 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.
  53. ^ "Future Releases on Alternative Radio Stations". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on January 15, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2018.

External links[edit]