Car Seat Headrest in the news – Early 2016

“The lyrics are intimate but the music can get loud — some songs recall early demos from The Strokes.”

–Nate Scott on USA Today FTW! April 29, 2016

“You’re welcome, indie rock fans: Meet your next favorite album, Car Seat Headrest’s ‘Teens of Denial'”

–Scott Timberg in Salon, April 19, 2016

“Rarely does teen angst sound so fun.”

–NPR’s World Cafe Next, April 18, 2016

“Car Seat Headrest perfectly embodies Seattle’s music ethos – it’s three young dudes making banging, garagey arty rock, beautifully unpolished and sublimely honest, the exact sort of rawness that drove grunge from our basements to the rest of the world.”

–Scott Kulicke on KEXP blog, April 17, 2016

“From what we have heard of the new material so far it seems like Car Seat Headrest is set to take off.”

–Christopher Anthony on The Fire Note, April 15, 2016

“Rousing choruses, cut-to-the-heart lyricism, superfluous alter-egos — Teens of Denial pretty much nails every single ingredient that goes into a great rock record.”

–Collin Brennan on Consequence of Sound, April 14, 2016

“The 23-year-old Leesburg-born musician…is being hailed as one of the best young songwriters around; Rolling Stone compared him to both Brian Wilson and Guided By Voices-frontman Robert Pollard, and Consequence of Sound recently spent close to 1,700 words explaining why Toledo is the ‘indie rock hero we’ve been waiting for.'”

–Dean Essner in Washingtonian, April 14, 2016

“You might not believe in yourself by the end of ‘Fill in the Blank,’ but you will certainly believe in Car Seat Headrest.”

–Quinn Moreland on Pitchfork, April 12, 2016

“The album is a brainy adrenaline rush from the beginning, and the beginning is out in the world as of today.”

–Chris DeVille on Stereogum, April 11, 2016

“Guitars dance around the track like a fighter in the ring, stepping with surprising lightness around the crunchy rhythms.”

–Ben Kaye in Consequence of Sound, April 11, 2016

“Featuring album artwork of written-out lyrics, ‘Fill in the Blank’ has Toledo sounding frustrated with factors outside of his control, which only makes him more upset with himself.”

–Rachel Brodsky in Spin, April 11, 2016

“He was trying to figure out how much the general public was willing to accept as far as the complexities of a pop song.”

–Will Toledo discussing Brian Wilson’s “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” on Pitchfork, April 11, 2016

“The smart, somewhat off-kilter indie-rock of Car Seat Headrest…seemed a perfect fit for a night at a museum.”

–Kevin Bronson on buzzbands.la, April 3, 2016

“Fans of Beatles-esque 60s songwriting, 80s jangle pop, and 90s grunge will find him a welcome long term addition to their classic collection.”

–Cal Trefor on Gigwise, April 3, 2016

“His band puts on a great show [without] necessarily performing – but their set builds from a slow start to a frenetic, heavily rock climax. It’s emotional and transporting to watch.”

–Chris Chafin in Brooklyn, April 1, 2016

“The band dialed the noise up to 11 one last time…leaving this guy with a slight buzzing in his ear and a newfound respect for the straight-up rawking capabilities of Will Toledo.”

–Will Reisman on The Bay Bridged (San Francisco), April 1, 2016

“Two artists, separated in age by more than 40 years but with the same passion and drive to create, despite any obstacles. Music lives. Music thrives. Its only limitation is our ability to take it all in.”

–Jim Lenahan, re: Charles Bradley and Will Toledo performing at South by Southwest in USA Today, March 27, 2016

“You may have gathered that we’re excited about Car Seat Headrest’s upcoming album, Teens of Denial.”

–Jackson Sinnenberg on NPR‘s “All Songs TV,” March 24, 2016

“Now with a record deal, a full band, and a new album on the way, Toledo could soon find himself inspiring younger musicians.”

–Rachel Brodsky in Spin, March 24, 2016

“Not a good pop song. Damn fine rock song though. Damn. Fine.”

–Matthew Hickey, re: “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” on Turntable Kitchen, March 24, 2016

“Will Toledo…is a homemade songwriting wiz with a sound that reaches back to ‘90s acts like Pavement and Beck, but which, he explained after the show, really pulls from those bands’ predecessors, specifically The Beatles, The Who and Pink Floyd.”

–Dan DeLuca on philly.com (Philadelphia Inquirer), March 18, 2016

“Every element of the singer-songwriter’s agility shone through at his Under the Radar showcase, where he teased alt-pop tastes of his forthcoming Teens of Denial and let out a few self-deprecating comments.”

–Rachel Brodsky in Spin, March 17, 2016

“[The Flaked soundtrack] has even more indie cred thanks to the cuts it uses from Warpaint, EL VY, Car Seat Headrest and Kurt Vile – among many others.”

–Larry Bartleet on NME, March 10, 2016

“When respected Indie label…Matador Records came calling, Will Toledo was ready.”

–John Wenzel on Hey Reverb (The Denver Post), January 15, 2016

“Car Seat Headrest’s music is catchy, hooky and rough-hewn in the classic indie-rock tradition, and his lyrics are simultaneously funny and poignant — a difficult trick Toledo pulls off with casual aplomb.”

–Michael Roberts on Westword, January 12, 2016

“Toledo has been focusing on translating the intricately layered, angst-driven inertia of his recorded material to a live setting, where “everything is a lot more stripped-down, basic and rock-and-roll,” which sits fine with him.”

–Jonny Pepperman in Relix, January 8, 2016

Car Seat Headrest in the news – 2015

The indie rock band Car Seat Headrest, led by Will Toledo, has had a growing presence in the news media since mid-2015. As one of Will’s biggest fans — and as his father — I decided that this blog would be an appropriate place to start aggregating the reviews and interviews that are appearing online.

Here are links to some of the coverage of the band in 2015:

“His sun-bleached melodies dig deep in the brain while the lyrics offer mid-song meta analysis on the creative process, a director’s commentary on top of his surging lo-fi jams.”

–Dale W. Eisinger in Paper, December 16, 2015

“This is a band to watch.”

–Adam Valeiras in Flood Magazine, December 15, 2015

“What begins as an exploration of Will Toledo’s neuroses builds to a fist-in-the-air anthem to conquer all [in “Something Soon”].”

–Kate Drozynski in “NPR Music’s Favorite Songs of 2015,” December 15, 2015

“He has self-released hours of muted, needling indie-rock songs, and betrays a shameless affection for sunny sixties pop.”

–Night Life column in New Yorker, December 5, 2015

“Riff-heavy, Strokes-like mumbling tracks, such as “Something Soon,” display the songwriter’s gift for intelligent angst…”

–Dutch Godschalk on Ticket, November 30, 2015

“The difference between this situation and every other band ever, is that Car Seat Headrest already had a national audience for many of these releases.”

–Joseph Cardina on Buffablog, November 17, 2015

“Will Toledo has seen his profile rise exponentially…with the release of ‘Teens of Style’…”

–Andy Downing in redeye Chicago, November 12, 2015

“Toledo’s Bandcamp is an impressive archive of material, and there’s no great way to plow through the whole thing efficiently. The closest experience I’ve had is trying to mow down everything Neil Young recorded over 30 years.”

–Mario Aguilar in 20kHz, November 6, 2015

“Toledo is a very witty, self-aware fellow, so the introspection is more like offbeat poetry, set to hooks that deserved to escape the bedroom.”

–Chris Payne in Billboard, November 4, 2015

“While it may seem lazy to compare Toledo’s style to the lo-fi aesthetics and witty wordiness of Matador icons like Pavement and Guided by Voices, his music undoubtedly does touch on a similarly vulnerable vein with his thoughtful stream of consciousness.”

–Dusty Henry in Seattle Weekly, November 3, 2015

“Toledo’s verses are rife with the sorts of teen-age drama that rock was invented to channel.”

–Will Hermes in Rolling Stone, November 2, 2015

“Toledo quickly became one of the most buzzed about artists who played [at CMJ], and although Teens of Style arrives today, listeners already eagerly anticipate the release of Teens of Denial, due out early next year.”

–Emily McDermott in Interview, October 30, 2015

“Toledo’s songwriting has always been his strong suit, and his ruminations on well-worn themes of unrequited love, alienation, and teenage rebellion are spiked with wisdom.”

–Drew Fortune in A.V. Club, October 30, 2015

“His lyrics are rapaciously intelligent and self-aware, but he never lets his prodigious literary intelligence get in the way of crafting enjoyably off-kilter, anthemic rock songs.”

–Jeremy Gordon on Pitchfork, October 28, 2015

“Toledo’s melody lines are the sort of stuff that you want to stay stuck in your head for a long time…”

–Mack Hayden in Paste Monthly, October 27, 2015

“Toledo’s songs are often compared to those of the Strokes, and while they share spiky elements with that band, Toledo’s freewheeling narratives are more akin to those of Courtney Barnett — hilarious, sharp, and whip smart.”

Aquarium Drunkard, October 22, 2015

“Toledo is a master of tonal control, and the way his songs lurch from self-indulgent regret to empowered declarations and then all the way back again is something to behold.”

–Joseph Earp in Renowned for Sound, October 19, 2015

“Will Toledo might be the voice of a very restless and agitated generation.”

–Lindsey Rhoades in The Village Voice, October 12, 2015

“Neil Young + Swans + Dave Matthews Band”

–Will Toledo describing the band in seven words or less in “So You’re Playing CMJ,” September 15, 2015

“Will Toledo’s story is the kind of internet-era fairytale everyone wants to believe in…”

–Cate McGeehee in Noisey, September 11, 2015

“What’s unchanged is Toledo’s sharp songwriting, which perfectly captures the frustration of feeling trapped in your current circumstances.”

–Kyle Kramer in Noisey, September 1, 2015

“Toledo’s songs themselves play out on a grand scale, one that will be fitting for a larger audience.”

–James Rettig in Stereogum, September 1, 2015

“That Toledo has built such a dedicated fanbase over the years, who have followed his hefty release schedule devotedly, is a testament to the aforementioned ability to connect deeply with an audience.”

–Graham Johnson reviewing “How to Leave Town” in Rare Candy, July 27, 2015

“On ‘Teens of Style’, Car Seat Headrest’s Matador debut, even the quietest moments carry with them a sense that Toledo is using every bit of his considerable talent to maintain some kind of holy balance between scuzz and sublimity, effortless melodicism and fractured surfaces.”

–Michael Wojtas in Clash, June 11, 2015