I’ve been working a lot lately and have been quite busy with visiting relatives as well. I’m still in the process of editing my “A Closer Look” for U2’s “Achtung Baby” as I have so much I want to say, but I figured I could still put something out today instead.
So I figured I would just have a fun little post today in anticipation for Lollapalooza next week and in honor of getting to see one of my new favourite bands, the one and only Car Seat Headrest!
So, here’s my top eleven favourite songs by the group so far-but keep in mind, it’s always subject to change.
A tune from Toledo’s Bandcamp days, I find this six-minute lo-fi love song to be endearing in every way; from lines like “I know I don’t talk a lot/But I know you don’t care a lot” to the fact that it was probably recorded in the backseat of Will’s mom’s car.
10.) Destroyed by Hippie Powers
I have to give it to this song for being one of the hardest-rocking tunes of 2016 and also one of the saddest. Somehow it manages to be fun to rock to with its Pixies-esque guitar riff while also making me feel completely existential and question when exactly it is in life that people start to develop the tendency of insecurity. Either way, it’s a beautiful track.
9.) Hey, Space Cadet! (Beast Monster Thing in Space)
As a college student I can 1000% appreciate a song starting with the admission of “It is 2014 and I have no idea what is going on in my life” followed by a massive, distorted guitar explosion of sound. Will has a knack for ballads that cut right to the core of the human condition, and this college-senior breakdown set to music is no exception.
8.) Los Barrachos (I Don’t Have Any Hope Left, But the Weather is Nice)
This song is just so hilarious that I have to put it on here. Anytime things aren’t going my way, I like to go for a walk and put it on as loud as I can. Somehow I end up being weirdly filled with hope once more. Maybe it’s the upbeat tempo, maybe it’s the power of music, maybe it’s because I just love Will.
7.) TIE: Fill in the Blank and Connect the Dots (The Saga of Frank Sinatra)
These songs just rock. Everything about them makes them prime material for a ride around town with the windows down, a much-needed workout to blow off steam or a walk home from a particularly difficult day of class. I dare you to not be singing “And we’re never gonna, never gonna, get a job” by the end, or throwing your fist in the air to “You have no RIGHT to be depressed!”
6.) (Joe Gets Kicked out of School for Using) Drugs with Friends [But Says This isn’t a Problem]
The first time I ever heard this song, I was in my favourite coffee shop in town reading an essay about the life of Frank Sinatra. It was the perfect combination of cool things, and this means it holds a special place in my heart. Of course, Will’s self-deprecating storytelling on the lyrics and the slow build of the track across its five minute runtime into a massive crescendo may help.
5.) Times to Die
A beautiful song that combines everything I generally enjoy in a solid indie rock track: an interesting bass line, lyrics with meaning that cut right to the emotions, catchy guitar riffs, creative production touches and layered walls of both instrumentation and vocals. The outro is probably my favourite on any Car Seat track. Also, from a Christian perspective, I don’t know if the lyrics are referencing Ecclesiasties 3:1-8, but if so, I find it quite intriguing.
4.) Oh! Starving
Something about this song manages to sound gleefully like its singer both completely doesn’t and completely does care what everybody thinks of them. The waltzy tempo and electric piano riffs are an excellent touch and make it all the easier to sing along as loudly as possible. Also, the guitar outro is perfect. Distorted, but perfect.
3.) The Ballad of the Costa Concordia
Remember what I said about Toledo’s ballad-writing abilities being emotional and cutting right to the heart? If you weren’t already convinced, here’s an eleven-minute track that features a wild emotional breakdown in the middle with Will angrily confessing his inadequacies as an adult followed up with a punky and snarky guitar riff that Will happily sings “I give up” over. Plus a horn section that randomly pops up throughout the track. I’m not kidding.
2.) Cosmic Hero
This track quickly became my favourite on 2016’s “Teens of Denial.” There is just so much going on here: two minute horn solos leading the track in, use of dynamics to mimic the rise and fall of human emotion, effortless transformations from subdued and simple guitar riffs to barely controlled lo-fo chaos, Will yelling “I will go to Heaven/You won’t go to Heaven/I won’t see you there” and lines like “If you really wanna know how kind you are/Just ask yourself why you’re lying in bed alone.”
1.) Something Soon
My all-time favourite and also the first song I ever heard by the Car Seat Boys. It’s hard to explain what makes it so good, other than this: the next time you’re angry, annoyed or frustrated, don’t take it out on those around you. Just put this song on. LOUD. If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel better in no time.
What are some of your favourite Car Seat Headrest songs?
Thanks for reading, hope this post finds you well and as always, God bless.
(Note-Some of these songs aren’t available on music/video sharing sites, which is why they aren’t embedded here, or they just wouldn’t embed correctly in the post. They are, however, available on iTunes and Spotify).