Car Seat Headrest originally released Twin Fantasies in 2011 when lead singer Will Toledo was just a kid uploading songs to Bandcamp. The original recording was what you’d expect from a rather unknown artist- grungy, lo-fi and consisting of incredibly personal subject matter.
It wasn’t long after that Toledo and Car Seat Headrest grew in popularity with their many uploads to their Bandcamp page. They eventually signed with Matador Records in 2015 and thanks to their newfound popularity, they were exposed to greater resources for recording.
This led to the re-recording of the cult hit, Twin Fantasies, which was given an official release on February 16, 2018.
It’s very rare that musicians revisit a past project and tranform it into what they originally intended it to be. That’s what Toledo aimed to do, but instead of over-producing the original songs, he re-recorded them in a similar lo-fi style that resulted in a clean mess, if that makes sense.
Instrumentals were tightened, vocals were more clear, but the overall style and personality of the record was preserved.
In your first listen of Twin Fantasies, it seems that Toledo is telling a story of love and loss. This concept is confusingly unraveled in a track list with lyrics referencing extremely personal events. You never end up learning who he is writing about, but it’s stongly hinted that he is referencing a relationship with a mysterious boy.
Toledo’s unique songwriting is showcased when he references specific songs that appeared earlier in the record. In the song High To Death, he casually brings back the chorus from Stop Smoking (We Love You), which appears earlier in the record.
As confusing and ambiguous as the narrative is throughout the record, I couldn’t help but falling in love with it. It’s a beautiful wreck that sucks you in and makes you question your existence.
In the track Nervous Young Inhumans, Toledo delivers a speech that really stuck with me and sealed it into being one of the most meaningful verses I’ve ever heard.
“I am a good person.
I am a powerful person.
I don’t believe in evil.
I believe evil is an idea created by others,
to avoid dealing with their own nature.
I understand my own nature.
Good and Evil have nothing to do with it.
I understand myself,
I control myself,
I control everything within myself.
My domain is my domain.
I can lie on my back,
and affect the lives of those I love,
without moving a finger,
but I would only affect them in good ways.
I don’t waste time on evil.
I’m a good person.”
Twin Fantasies isn’t perfect but putting a cleaner sound on a cult classic made this album much more enjoyable. After it released, I had it on repeat for weeks. I dare say that it is now among my favorite albums ever.