REVIEW // Car Seat Headrest – Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales

Car Seat Headrest

Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest is 23 years old and is about to release his thirteenth album.

That’s six in 2010, two each in 2011 and 2012, then a measly one each in 2014, 2015 and now 2016. So basically, miles ahead of everyone else in life.

Teen of Denial is, to be fair, the first proper album that has been recorded in a studio with a band and producer. Thus far, we’ve heard two songs off it – ‘Vincent’ and now ‘Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales’. They’re both a strangely aesthetic combination of glam, classic rock and lo-fi. ‘Vincent’ is a true builder at nearly eight minutes, while ‘Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales’ is probably as indie pop as Car Seat Headrest can physically get.

As an internet cult artist, Toledo seems like a young genius that spends hours hiding in a college dorm, only emerging days after and having created something amazing out of a whole lot of chaos. If you break it down, half of ‘Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales’ is him whaling (pun intended), calling out “It doesn’t have to be like this”, and randomly shout-singing. But it somehow comes together into a catchy and melodic tune.

Similar to “Vincent”, it’s also a grower – from the beginning bare bones of quiet vocals over simple guitar and drums. According to Toledo, it’s about that “post-party melancholia” feeling. And certainly, the first half represents this very real and bleak experience of “going home alone, in poor condition”. Because, really, how many nights end in anywhere near a classy fashion? Not super sure how “killer whales” come into play but this part is apparently inspired by the documentary Blackfish. Somehow linking killer whales kept in captivity with being a drunken mess?

But ultimately the song flips into liveliness and almost motivational . Turn that post-party melancholia into post-party contentment!



Hometown: Seattle, Washington.
Upcoming album: Teens of Denial, out May 2016 on Matador Records. 
Sounds like:
A mix of The Strokes, Interpol and The National.
Say what? Founder of Matador Records Chris Lombardi was introduced to Car Seat Headrest by his intern. Fellow intern sufferers, stick in there!

Exclusively hand-picked just for you, by Jane.  

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