Daily Dose: ‘Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales’ by Car Seat Headrest

Car Seat Headrest and their album Teens of Denial (20th May, 2016) have been getting a lot of hype and winding up on a lot of end of year lists. A lot of it hasn’t really stuck with me, but the radio edit of this song (songs) is the best thing I’ve heard from it so far. The languid, plain, occasionally lazy delivery style of Will Toledo’s vocals are still present, but this is the sort of song they were designed for, where a dramatic musical turn can be placed around the clever story, cynical witticisms and bedraggled voice. He often sounds slightly drunk when he sings, another reason why this song works so well. I think as indie rock goes Car Seat Headrest are a little bit too loose and artistic for me: I’m not sure I get the joke, and even if I did, I’m not sure that I’d think it was clever, but that doesn’t change the fact that they can still make songs like this that tug on the old heartstrings a bit. I saw one review describe the record as “tension and release”, but here, what passes for tension is actually quite relaxing, and the release is the part where the emotions get a bit fraught, and I think that might be why this song stuck out for me. Gotta subvert those expectations.

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