Will Toledo largely pulled from his prolific Bandcamp output to put together last year’s Teens of Style, his Matador Records debut as Car Seat Headrest. Considering the quality of the effort, that’s a pretty impressive origin story for the budding rocker. However, with the forthcoming follow-up, Teens of Denial, we may get a taste of what sort of power Toledo is really capable of with label backing. First single “Vincent” certainly signals that he’s using his position to bolster his ambition in exciting ways.
“Vincent” is thematically in the vein of Courtney Barnett’s “Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party” or Alessia Cara’s “Here”, an anti-social takedown of “be there or be square” mentalities. Toledo said the song is about, “Fighting to hold one’s place in the crowd, to hold one’s drink. Shouting to be heard, but what’s the point, no one’s saying anything worth listening to. Wanting to leave, not wanting to go home. Music is too loud.”
Sonically and structurally, though, it’s a beast all its own. It embodies the frustrating swirl of thoughts that beleaguer one’s mind in such social situations with jazzy bass hooks, shuffling drums, the sudden interruption of horns, and jabbing guitar lines that build into a furry. Toledo’s cadence only adds to the frantic vibes, repeating words like banging his head against a wall as he goes off about Wikipedia-ing definitions of depression and speaking Spanglish. But don’t think he’s being an aloof egotist, as he’s really berating himself as much as anything.
Despite all the mayhem, “Vincent” is a fiercely captivating track that, as a taste of just the second album in a young career, makes the wait for Teens of Denial a restless one. Take a listen below.
You can also check out a radio edit of “Vincent” via the song’s equally manic video.