Review Summary: Do you have any crimes that we can use to pass the time I’m running out of drugs to try
The appeal of the "bedroom" recording and production style is the intimacy that goes along with it, a sort of tangibility to the music, whereas a person or group of people producing music that is polished and refined can sometimes lose its humanity, or lose its personable qualities. So, with music that relies on character, personality, and emotion to convey its messages, this feeling of closeness is ideal and, I daresay, essential to properly creating an album that one can truly bond with. This rawness is what lets you know that what you are listening to is real; that it is human, just as you are.
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.
Another thing that makes Twin Fantasy so great is that each song is its own beast. Though the intro track My Boy (Twin Fantasy) sets up the album perfectly, the following track Beach Life-In-Death, a 12-minute behemoth, is the true centerpiece. The song itself feels sort of like a journey to the beach, conjuring vivid imagery of train rides, sunny days, playing monopoly, groceries, relationships, applying for jobs, and, of course, ocean waves. This song comes together with three movements to form a piece that I can truly call remarkable. From there, songs like Bodys and Cute Thing serve their purpose as the cute, poppy, and sweet songs on the album (I dare not call them twee); and tracks like Sober To Death and High To Death work perfectly as chill indie rock tunes, the latter of which is drenched in enough reverb to drown a small child. The penultimate track, Famous Prophets (Minds), is the second epic of the album and works with dynamics perfectly to create a surprisingly cohesive and all-in-all incredibly fulfilling song.
The journey that is Twin Fantasy comes to a fitting close with the title track, a six-and-a-half minute anthem revolving around the sun and Will's introspection. Instead of ending the album with a bang, the track moves at a very slow pace, serving to vibe harder than pretty much anything else here, with divine synthesizer and simple drums that establish a concrete groove. After an hour when Twin Fantasy comes to a close, it feels satisfied, it feels complete. Car Seat Headrest successfully presents far more ideas than your average bedroom indie record, and is all the more rewarding for it. Will explores his own life through music, and in return offers this journey in a unique and intimate way.