Photo by Christopher Sikich
Fans who tuned into Car Seat Headrest’s recent appearance on Fallon may have noticed something different about the song he played. I wasn’t just that this version of “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” featured members of The Roots on horns behind him; the song itself was entirely different, from structure to lyrics. Now, Will Toledo has made the studio recording of this new single version available online.
On Teens of Denial, “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” is a sprawling six-minute song that we said “may go down as the indie rock song of the decade” in our Top 50 Albums of 2016 recap. But Toledo has made no secret of his desire for commercial success and not just indie stardom, and this reworking is evidence of that. The track is much more accessible, with cleaner production and a two-and-a-half minutes shorter runtime. You can also hear the change in lyrics right away, as the first verse now goes:
“In the backseat of our heart/ There’s someone saying I’m a mess/ I couldn’t get the car to start/ My keys are somewhere in the mess/ I fell asleep outside the door/ And found a letter in the morning/ I couldn’t make it out/ Although I recognized my own handwriting.”
The second verse is new in its entirety, and you can hear it below via Spotify or Apple Music.
In other Toledo news, the musician recently contributed a review of Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo to The Talkhouse. In a thoroughly presented argument, Toledo calls the record “morally and aesthetically repulsive.” He’s not dissing the album, however, as he says it’s “one of the most powerful testaments in recent memory to both the hideousness of a man’s face — his surface characteristics, his persona, his proudly worn sins — and the Christ-like powers of forgiveness residing in the public.”
Read the whole thing here.