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Twin Fantasy is the sixth studio album by indie rock band Car Seat Headrest, released in 2018.
The album was originally released in 2011, via Bandcamp. The album features lo-fi production as it was recorded with a laptop microphone and audio effects were used to enhance this aesthetic. Will Toledo performs all instruments on every track of the album as, at the time, he did not have a band. The album amassed a cult following and was re-recorded and released on Matador Records.
Will Toledo’s re-recorded version of an album originally released in 2011 speaks to his greatest gifts as a songwriter: wit, cynicism, and an eye for detail that captures teenaged desire and heartache.
With his band Car Seat Headrest, Will Toledo has constructed the perfect vehicle for his obsessions. Since its inception in 2010, it’s become a highly referential project with a series of related album titles (2015’s Teens of Style preceded 2016’s Teens of Denial) and nods to other songs and bands from the Cars to Modest Mouse to They Might Be Giants. But the connection he makes to the music of others is nothing compared to the density of the internal references. A chorus from one song might show up as the bridge in another; a lyric might connect to an observation made earlier in the record, or even the record before.
The new Car Seat Headrest album, Twin Fantasy, is a completely re-recorded version of an album that Toledo originally released in 2011. There’s not much precedent for this sort of do-over. But Toledo, two years after his last batch of new songs, apparently believes enough in this album to think that he can make a better version of it to share with the wider world.
Sputnik Music (4.5/5, Superb):
Car Seat Headrest is Will Toledo, prevalent indie rocker from Seattle who, like many of his peers, has been writing music since a young age. Though Twin Fantasy is far from his longest album, it still feels epic, sort of like a monolith. A good part of this due to the song-lengths; the average run-time of 6 minutes is fairly uncommon in the style of "bedroom" indie rock, but what makes Twin Fantasy special is how adamantly it does its own thing.
Will's sound is made up of twangy guitar, some catchy bass, consistently excellent drumming, and his unique approach to lyricism delivered with reverb laden vocals that range from quiet slacker singing to Isaac Brock-esque yelling. All of this is accentuated through Will's heartfelt delivery that makes the music something beyond endearing.
Consequence of Sound (A-):
Twin Fantasy (Face to Face), a sprawling, loosely conceptual rock album that reimagines an earlier effort Car Seat Headrest’s Will Toledo recorded at 19 on a cheap laptop. Some fans may be dismayed that Toledo chose to follow up 2016’s Teens of Denial by looking backward to his teenage years, but the new Twin Fantasy justifies its existence by being light years ahead of the old.
It’s a breathtaking composition that demands multiple listens and rewards each in turn.