Car Seat Headrest relates to youth through songs and shows


Photo courtesy of Jonah Rosenberg

Car Seat Headrest poses at SXSW, a music and art festival in Austin, TX, in 2016. Students can see CSH at Proud Larry’s on Sept. 6th.

Livvy Cohen, staff writer

Voicing the issues of today’s youth, Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest incorporates a personal and honest outlook on life in his music.  With a uniquely grungy sound, Toledo is quickly gaining speed in his profession.

Using Bandcamp, an online program where lesser-known musicians can sell their music to listeners for low prices or virtually no price at all, Car Seat Headrest (CSH) has released 11 albums in total since 2013. Along with putting out all of the music he’s made online, Toledo quickly gained fame in the alternative scene of today’s youth community.

Signing to Matador Records in 2015, CSH brought in three other members into the studio and quickly put out two albums: “Teens of Style” in October of 2015 and “Teens of Denial” in May of 2016. Both were re-recorded versions of old songs from CSH’s Bandcamp.

CSH falls into a genre of itself. Covering a wide range of genres and topics, fans must be ready to expect anything from him.

While listening to “Teens of Denial,” fans hear a variety of emotions and styles in every song.

“Their sound is super cool and unlike most bands I listen to,” junior Davis Whitwell said.

CSH goes grunge in the song “Cosmic Hero” and serenades fans with an emotional 12-minute song, “The Ballad of the Costa Concordia,” about not always succeeding in life.  He slows things down with a genuine and thought-out acoustic moment in “Joe Goes to School” and regains his original energy with hyped up rock songs like “Fill in the Blank.”

Toledo of CSH began writing and making music fresh into college, and continued through his college years and into adulthood. He writes music as if it were a journal for life. CSH songs are strangely relatable and can suit everybody’s taste.

“I find it easier to sleep / and half the time I want to go home,” Toledo writes in “Vincent” from the album “Teens of Denial.” His lyrics have a familiar sense of empathy and are understandable by many people about daily life.

His lyrics translate well to high school students, and Car Seat Headrest has grown popular at OHS, gaining many fans, including senior Malcolm Gooch.

“I listen to them a lot.  I like the lyrics, mainly, and how closely I personally relate to them.  I’m not going to their show, but I wish I could,” Gooch said.

While some students are unable to make it to the show, many others are looking forward to it.

“I didn’t even know they were playing at Proud Larry’s until pretty recently, but I will probably go.  I bet they’re amazing live,” Whitwell said.

Car Seat Headrest is playing an extensive run of 40 shows this fall, giving fans a chance to experience these songs and many others live.

Stopping in Oxford on Tuesday, Sept. 6th, students can see Car Seat Headrest at Proud Larry’s, and get a taste of this classic singer-songwriter show with a heavy rock twist to it. Doors open at 8 pm, show starts at 9 pm. Tickets are $12 before show, $15 day of show.