Car Seat Headrest began in 2010 in Will Toledo’s hometown of Leesburg, Virginia. Needing a place of solitude (and soundproofing) where he could record vocals undisturbed, a 17-year-old Toledo set up shop in the family car. Toledo’s catalogue is sharp, literary, and culturally omnivorous as it touches upon youth and death, love and depression, drunken parties and 2nd century theologians. Ever surprising, his lyrical imagery ranges from playful to sexually frank to sorrowful, often within the same song.

After relocating to the Seattle suburbs in 2014, Toledo assembled a lineup with bassist Ethan Ives and drummer Andrew Katz. Teens of Style is the first Car Seat Headrest album recorded with a full band, and the sound is vibrant and powerful, with a wide stylistic range.

On Teens of Style, Toledo has taken material from the first three years of the band’s existence and reworked it to generate some of the most realised arrangements to date. Drawing material from 3 (2010), My Back Is Killing Me Baby (2011), and Monomania (2012), Teens of Style provides a concise overview of the band’s many sonic and emotional facets, with the songs ranging from electronic psychedelia to punky anthems to melancholic acoustic numbers.

With Teens of Denial, his first real “studio” album with an actual band, Will Toledo moves from bedroom pop to something approaching classic- rock grandeur and huge (if detailed and personal) narrative ambitions, with nods to the Cars, Pavement, Jonathan Richman, Wire, and William Onyeabor. This is the first full album of new music from Car Seat Headrest, released in 2016 on Matador.

Toledo revisited Twin Fantasy, his 2011 Bandcamp album, for a “re-recorded and re-imagined” version, which came out in February 2018 on Matador. Something for the fans, new and old alike, the release saw Toledo re-examining his past, fan-favourite project, and overcoming the limitations he faced first time around, when he was recording himself on a laptop.

Will Toledo directed the video for the second single ‘Nervous Young Inhumans’

Car Seat Headrest released their hugely anticipated new album, Making A Door Less Open, in May 2020.

Created over the course of four years, Making A Door Less Open—their first collection of entirely new music since 2016—sees Will Toledo embarking on new and imaginative roads to songwriting and recording, placing emphasis on the individual songs, each with its own special energy, rather than attempting to draw a coherent storyteller narrative through the album as he has in the past, resulting in his most dynamic and open-ended work to date.

A recent New York Times profile describes MADLO as “some of the most direct and accessible music Toledo has ever made. What’s new here, apart from the rippling synth lines and programmed beats, is the sense of fresh-start possibility and hard-won optimism that infuses nearly every track.”

“The most dynamic and commercially assured album in Car Seat’s winding discography – is actually an invitation to cut loose… in a meticulously crafted momentum of seductive choruses, classic-rock brawn and dancefloor-release” – MOJO ****

Will Toledo broke down each track of the album for Stereogum, check it out here.