There was a time when the heartache of pasty-faced men with guitars ruled the earth. It’s not 2018. Those looking to make an impact are saddled with the lofty requirement that not only do the deliver something great, but also that which is truly exceptional. Car Seat Headrest’s Will Toledo is unperturbed. Head-down he continues indie rock tradition with a casual brilliance.
In 2011, Will's 19-year-old self-recorded a cult opus. A murky Bandcamp offering, Twin Fantasy has continued to grow in stature amongst the Car Seat following. Toledo himself, now the charismatic frontman of a hard-touring indie outfit, was never quite satisfied.
But the fact it’s a re-recording seems an aside. Long haul fans are going to dig it. This reworking will cut across as a final realisation of a storied yet legendarily unfinished work. Newcomers are going to fall under its spell.
What can’t be brushed aside is its narrative arc. The chronicle of a doomed teenage romance. The kind that happens only once.
Twin documents Will’s life conflagrating in spectacular fashion. As with their original counterparts ‘Cute Boy’, ‘My Boy (Twin Fantasy)’ and ‘Beach Life in Death’ remain raw and immediate. Emotive explosions of half-hearted frustration and weariness.
Of course, the bedroom production versus big-budget hi fi rework debate is going to remain a point of contention moving forward. But equally significant is that this lavish reiteration is going to take the fierce ambition of the original to new ears. Cut either way, Twin Fantasy pulses with a vitality, vigour, sincerity, vulnerability and ache peers could only envy.
Words by Riley Fitzgerald