Let’s face the facts. Indie rock has been declining for the past 5 years, maybe more. I’m not saying that there haven’t been some exceptional releases and some astoundingly talented artists, but the vast majority of what I’ve heard is generic and formulaic to a fault. Music media has abandoned coverage of the once fruitful genre for the likes of electronic or pop injected artists. Indie rock has been moved to the back burner. Is there no more room for the pantheons of guitar, bass, and drums? Possibly, but there might be a savior to rescue us from this slow death and his name is Will Toledo.
Will Toledo is the vocalist, guitarist, and mastermind behind Car Seat Headrest. The band that had a humble Bandcamp beginning is now on the forefront of the genre after the release of their 2016 critically-acclaimed album “Teens of Denial.” What separates Toledo’s music from the noise of other current indie rock bands are his insightful lyrics and inventive style. His lyrics are an open confessional to his listeners, which also convey the pains and trials that we have experienced in our own lives. Will shares his battles with depression, alcoholism, drugs, loneliness and sexual frustration, no subject seems to be out of bounds. One of CSH’s most poignant tracks “The Ballad of the Costa Concordia” brilliantly fuses the process of finding adulthood with the story of the Costa Concordia’s dishonored captain.
How was I supposed to know how to not get drunk every
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and — why not — Sunday?
How was I supposed to know how to steer this ship?
How the hell was I supposed to steer this ship?
It was an expensive mistake
He’s not done either. Will is releasing a rerecorded version of “Twin Fantasy” his 2011 beloved Bandcamp album in February. Based off the two singles that have been released it promises to be a stunning revitalization and refreshing entry in the genre. I’m not ready to give up on indie rock and Will is giving me optimism that I don’t have to.