El Club Presents Car Seat Headrest
Car Seat Headrest
Lucy Dacus, Stef Chura
4114 Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI, 48209
Doors 5:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
Watch & Listen
Car Seat Headrest
Matador Records is thrilled to announce that it has signed Car Seat Headrest and will release Teens of Style on October 30, with Teens of Denial to follow soon after in 2016. This prolific artist (né Will Toledo) comes to Matador having already crafted an 11-album catalog of staggering depth, all self-released on Bandcamp, which has gained him an obsessive following and over 25,000 downloads – all without the muscle of a manager, label, agent, or publicist – until now.
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 realized 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.
The longest track on Teens of Style, "Times to Die," is just under seven minutes, applying breakbeat cut- ups and "Low Rider" horns to a groove-driven neo-psych jam with lyrics about Judaism, Hinduism, and the record business. Similarly, "Maud Gone" is a wistful 60s-inspired pop number paying homage to Yeats's unrequited love, while the intricate party track "Los Borrachos" borrows its title from the Diego Velasquez painting.
Car Seat Headrest's conceptual ambition and stunning songwriting has been apparent since its early days of laptop recording, the scale of Toledo's vision going far beyond the constricting "lo-fi" term. Now on his Matador Records debut, Teens of Style, we witness Toledo presenting his intricate ideas with more clarity and refinement than ever, delivering an enthralling collection of songs destined for wide acclaim.
Goon is the project of LA-based musician and visual artist Kenny Becker. With a medical condition that periodically deadens his sense of smell and hearing, Becker began writing songs as a means of making the most of his life when those symptoms were absent. The results—a murky blend of smoldering guitars, melodic hooks, and batter-ram rhythms—are the musical translations of a mind that's routinely betrayed by its own body, one that glistens with the oily sheen of suppression.
“Right when it starts to feel like home / it's time to go," Stef Chura sings on “Slow Motion,” a twisty, dim-lit guitar pop song where she curls and stretches every word. There are worlds of emotion is in the ways Chura pronounces phrases with twang and grit, alternatingly full of despair, playfulness, and abandon. Chura calls her music “emotional collage,” eschewing start-to-finish storylines in favor of writing intuitively about feelings, drawing from experiences and references related to a certain sentiment.
Her debut studio album, Messes, is embedded with her years of experience playing around the Michigan underground and setting up DIY shows in the area. Originally from Alpena, Michigan, Chura began playing in the Ypsilanti area in 2009, before dropping out of college, she moved to Detroit in 2012. Chura has been home-recording and self-releasing her songs for six years, playing bass in friends’ bands as well.
Through intricate guitar work and warm, textured production, Messes finds her trying to making sense of life’s ups and downs. “It’s about emotional mess, not physical mess,” Chura says. “The title track is about knowing that you are going to do something the wrong way, but you’re doing it anyway because you want that experience. I’ve had to do a lot of things the wrong way in order to figure out how to live my life.”