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Review: Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy

Maria Carrasco

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Will Toledo released Twin Fantasy (Mirror to Mirror) in 2011 under the name Car Seat Headrest. And now that Car Seat Headrest has expanded to a band, Toledo made it his mission to re-work the first album that put him on the map, titled Twin Fantasy (Face to Face), which was released Feb. 16, 2018.

Twin Fantasy (Mirror to Mirror)

Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)

And this re-work shows the real talent behind Car Seat Headrest, more specifically the all encompassing artistry that Toledo has to offer. More than just production value, you see Car Seat Headrest settle on their craft, including Ethan Ives and Toledo’s incredible guitar skills and Andrew Katz savage drumming. You get more than Toledo’s basic “aaaaaaahs” that are so common throughout the band’s discography, like 2016’s Teens of Denial.

Take the song “Beach Life-In-Death‰” – it follows no basic song structure but it feels complete. Toledo said the reasoning for him re-recording Twin Fantasy was because he said it didn’t feel complete, and this feels done. The song goes together through it‰’s “three acts” and connects from transition to transition.

“Cute Thing‰” is another great song on the album. It has one of the best guitar solos Car Seat Headrest has ever done and is a straight up banger. The instrumentals are so tight that it’s impossible not to jam to this song, or at least tap your foot.

But here‰’s the part that gets me – the emotion that Car Seat Headrest is able to convey with every song. When I listen to each individual song, I feel it. I feel the rage. I feel the pain. I feel the sadness. And that‰’s where this band shines. They‰’re so strongly able to display such intense emotion in each song so easily.

Like I said, Toledo is known for his raw vocals and his “aaaaahs” and Twin Fantasy offers that but in such a well crafted way. And I don’t get how he does it, but his voice conveys feeling so well. That makes his softer vocals or when he has talking interludes in the song stick so well. You get such a wide range of Toledo’s vocals.

Toledo bares himself in this album. All his trauma, all his pain, and to such a specific detail, yet his music is arguably so accessible. And it’s really beautiful, how accessible it is to relate to him. It blows my mind that he can get so personal with his art.

Examples of that are included in all their songs, most notably “Beach Life-In-Death,‰” “Sober to Death‰” and “High to Death.‰Û

I am almost completely soulless / I am incapable of being human / I am incapable of being inhuman / I am living uncontrollably / It should be antidepression / As a friend of mine suggested / Because it’s not the sadness that hurts you / It’s the brain’s reaction against it

Take your hands off your neck and hold / On to the ghost of my body / You know that good lives make bad stories / You can text me / When punching mattresses gets old / What if it’ll always be this way / Not comforted by anything you say / We were wrecks before we crashed into each other / Don’t worry, you and me won’t be alone no more

I fell over / I fell onto the ground / I wish I was sober / I can’t get up off the ground / When I closed my eyes / And I thought I was blind / It’s the middle of the night / And I’ll never be alright again / And this wallpaper / Keeps going round the room / It keeps going round the room / It keeps going round the room / And I follow it around the room /And I follow it around the room

This work by Car Seat Headrest shouldn’t be unnoticed. While I’m never going to say the original recording of Twin Fantasy is better or worse, this is a project worth checking out. It’s more than just instrumentals or lyrics or themes, this album is a complete emotional project. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up being one of my albums of the year.

RIYL: Parquet Courts, Pavement, (Sandy) Alex G, LVL UP

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Review: Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy