Album of the Week: Car Seat Headrest // Twin Fantasy

After a long evening of casual banter and insouciant debauchery, I’d found myself lying stomach down in a drunken sweat. Breathing hard like a plump corgi, I blindly scoured the perimeter of the mattress for my phone to provide some sonic distraction. A few aimless minutes later and Spotify had begun to nourish me with Twin Fantasy, the latest release from American indie-rock group Car Seat Headrest.

Though it ultimately falls short of old-fashioned H20 in the midst of a crippling hangover, Twin Fantasy offers the consolation of solidarity for every moment you’ve ever felt like a loser. Front man Will Toledo’s re-recorded issue of an album initially released in 2011 speaks to the wisdom that the difference between a success and a failure is simply time, persistence and heart.

Toledo’s singing is plainly reminiscent of the croon of Julian Casablancas, although to a more sobering than hedonistically nostalgic effect. On the thirteen-minute ‘Beach Life-In-Death’ Toledo crawls lyrically through life’s minutiae: “What should I do? Eat breakfast. What should I do? Eat lunch. What should I do? Eat dinner. What should I do? Go to bed.” Toledo illustrates that life is unavoidably monotonous, but not altogether shit.

On ‘Bodys’ Toledo struts his ever-confident lyrical edge: “is this the chorus yet? No, it’s just the building of the verse. So, when the chorus does come it’ll be more rewarding.” The albums sea of shifting song structures finds focus and energy on ‘Bodys’, before being sucked into the equally energetic, yet awkward and anxious ‘Cute Thing’, the tracks dazzling synthesizers and explosive guitars a nod to every individual who’s ever made a shit-awful play for the heart of another.  

‘Twin Fantasy’ is an unabashedly candid foray into the past (specifically 2011 when the album was released). Although it is a reinvention of an original it’s hard to fathom that any single moment on the record is disingenuous. Toledo’s attitude towards old material is a subtle championing of the value of the past, the lost and the forgotten.