Car Seat Headrest, Varsity | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Car Seat Headrest

Car Seat Headrest

Courtesy Matador Records

Car Seat Headrest, Varsity 18+ Recommended Soundboard

When: Sun., Nov. 29, 8 p.m. 2015
Price: $12
In 2010 17-year-old Will Toledo began recording and sharing his music via Bandcamp under the moniker Car Seat Headrest (named after the audience he had in the back of his parents’ car, where he recorded his earliest stuff), and over the last five years he’s made available 11 albums of homemade, overdubbed indie rock. Last fall he moved to suburban Seattle from his native Leesburg, Virginia, and put together a band to play 11 of the tunes that were scattered across those online offerings. The new Teens of Style (Matador) is still a lo-fi affair—more than a little recalling the sound of early hook-laden Guided by Voices, though without the Who fixation—but it also has an ambitious pop vision that encompasses rich vocal harmonies, dense arrangements, and introspective lyrics. Toledo reveals tender youth in songs that communicate the sharp sting of teenage romance, fleeting idealism, and old-school existentialism, and though his wordiness and occasionally myopic worldview may reveal his age, there’s a sense of reflection that transcends it. Some musical editing could’ve helped here and there on Teens of Style, but Toledo’s melodic gifts equal his level of introspection and promise big things in the near future.
— Peter Margasak



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