Will Toledo was a prolific songwriter before he reached his 20s, unceremoniously uploading dozens of lo-fi bedroom recordings to Bandcamp under the name Car Seat Headrest. As he’s gone from cult curiosity to critical darling, Toledo has exhumed artifacts from his own deep back catalog, perhaps to prove to himself that his earliest songs still pack a punch. In February, Toledo released Twin Fantasy, a remake of a 2011 LP he initially recorded when he was 19, applying a full-band salve to its sonically fuzzy, emotionally raw wounds. What was in 2011 an aching, tightly-wound portrait of angst, heartbreak and sexual awakening now plays like the wistful retelling of an adolescent memory, or like a public reading of an old diary entry. Toledo might be a somewhat enigmatic public figure — he recently had a Car Seat Headrest fan subreddit shuttered when it started dredging up too much personal information about him — but his songs are so vulnerable and so nakedly earnest that you almost want to turn away from them.
— Nathan Weinbender