hmv's Next Big Thing #44 – Car Seat Headrest
Every Wednesday we recommend a brand new artist who we think you're going to love. This week we bring you the hyper-prolific, angst-ridden sensation that is Car Seat Headrest..
Who is he?
21-year-old Will Toledo from Leesburg, Virginia has been making home-recorded albums for several years at an incredibly prolific rate before being talent-spotted by Matador records. The unusual name apparently stems from the fact that Toledo was too shy to sing vocals at home with people around to hear them, so instead drove out to an empty car park and sang the vocals in the seat of his car.
Car Seat Headrest's first 'proper' album, Teens of Style, arrived on Friday last week (October 30th) and is essentially a compilation featuring re-recordings of the best songs from his huge collection of home recordings, having formed a band to play live shows and wanting to recreate some of his songs with a more 'live' feel.
What does it sound like?
There's quite a range of influences at work on Teens of Style and it isn't an easy record to pin down, but there are shades of psychedelia and the late 80s alt-rock of early R.E.M and the dBs, matched with vocals that sound as if they're from another era entirely. Singing lyrics drenched in melancholy, Toldeo sounds like an angrier Scott Walker while he still made pop records – a sound slightly at odds with the D.I.Y. ethos of the recordings, but the result is atmospheric, haunting and powerful.
Why should I be excited?
Given the sheer volume of music Toldeo has churned out in the last few years at such a young age, there's plenty more to dig into and, you would expect, plenty more to come. Teens of Style is both a consolidation of everything Car Seat Headrest has done up until now and an indicator of a very bright future.
Can I hear something?
Sure, you can find the video for 'Something Soon' below...