Digging into the obscure pre-fame catalog of an established band can be an insightful and often surprising experience. We become witness to the initial stages in their sonic evolution, as we hear all the trials and errors that have gotten them where they are. Before Car Seat Headrest‘s 2016 major-label record Teens of Denial shot them into fame and critical applause, the band was already building momentum on the web with their prolific output of free releases. Out of the band’s 11 early independent albums, Twin Fantasy remains one of their most adored and is now widely regarded as a ‘BandCamp classic’.
A major factor behind Twin Fantasy‘s wide appeal is its uncanny ability to understand and connect with young adults. Over its hour-long running time, the album talks about anxiety, teenage love, self-doubt and also the crippling experience of confessing one’s homosexuality to friends and family. These messages are delivered to us in the band’s now-signature lyrical style that borrows the eccentric ambiguity of Kurt Cobain while displaying a wry wit similar to Elvis Costello. Quotable moments like “Lemme smoke your weed, no wait/ Healthy minds make sexy bodies” from Cute Thing are a common occurrence throughout. The band’s muddy, lo-fi production fall in place perfectly alongside the album’s themes of raw emotion, youthful angst and confusion. The guitars are often swathed in reverb, and the drums sound coarse and distant. Frontman Will Toledo‘s muffled vocals, meanwhile, remind strongly of Julian Casablancas from The Strokes. Twin Fantasy, in conclusion, is a perfect record for anybody in the mood for catchy guitar riffs and amusingly self-aware lyricism.
Favorite Track: Beach Life-in-Death, Bodys
1. My Boy (Twin Fantasy) 02:49
2. Beach Life-In-Death 12:10
3. Stop Smoking 01:27
4. Sober To Death 05:03
5. Nervous Young Inhumans 04:14
6. Bodys 06:15
7. Cute Thing 05:21
8. High To Death 06:18
9. Famous Prophets (Minds) 10:20
10. Twin Fantasy (Those Boys) 06:28