Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
Critic Score
Based on 23 reviews
2016 Ratings: #47 / 775
Year End Rank: #16
User Score
2016 Ratings: #9
May 20, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Matador / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
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A.V. Club
Car Seat Headrest may be 12 albums into its career, but Toledo shows no sign of slowing down. Through the record’s unrelenting buzz of power chords and fuzzy vocals, slow-burn anthems and primal screams, Toledo seems to be saying, buckle in; I’m taking you somewhere exciting. Trust him.

With Teens of Denial, Toledo has practically guaranteed himself a viable career for years to come. The fact he did it while still in his early twenties after laying a foundation of solid self-released records proves even further that his most creative days are probably still ahead of him.

Pretty Much Amazing
This is an album that belongs in a 2016 time capsule, and one that any indie bard hopeful should be required to hear.
No Ripcord

It’s the adequate album to write when you’re on a quest to become something, later to realize that you’ve no idea how to carry on fulfilling that need. It’s a transition that Toledo perfectly captures, one that he’s relieved to have outgrown.

Under The Radar

Supplanting the hazy radio qualities of his DIY endeavors, a bold palette of past-era pop melody splashes all over Teens of Denial, which is also mixed beautifully, utilizing just enough restraint on instrumental reverb for the parts to hug one another.


Teens of Style was already great, but Teens of Denial is such a leap forward that it still manages to surprise.

Spectrum Culture

Teens of Denial is a generous record bursting with so many ideas that Toledo seems like he’s rushing to get them out, trying to connect and willing to share personal stories of failure.

Consequence of Sound

Teens of Denial takes its power from its absence of blind spots, its lack of Freudian suppression. Toledo looks long at himself and us, a sort of nauseous survivor of modernity.


Despite clocking in at a whopping 70 minutes, Car Seat Headrest pack enough hooks in to avoid lagging, thanks to Toledo's practice with his lengthy yet phenomenal earlier albums Twin Fantasy and How to Leave Town.


Rock history teaches us you can't will a masterpiece into existence, but with Car Seat Headrest's Teens of Denial, Will Toledo has created something like a novel after previously offering us short stories, and it's a piece of rough-hewn brilliance.

The 405
Like fellow Bandcamp progenitor Frankie Cosmos, Toledo locks his gimlet eye over these crazy days and finds that, for the most part, anxiety often lurks in the minutiae.
There’s so much going on here that it can be borderline overwhelming. It’s a record that’s enigmatic, a little deceptive in places, and thoroughly gripping throughout.
Tiny Mix Tapes

Teens of Denial vaults through references to stand alone, rapturous and sincere — a fuzzy framework from the floor of all we know.

‘Teens Of Denial’ is the work of a precocious talent. Most tracks last over five minutes and the longest comes in at 12. It gives the impression that Toledo is doing what he wants and making the music he wants to hear. You can’t help but love him for it.
Rolling Stone
Like Courtney Barnett, he comes off as a rock-loving child of alt-rock's skepticism working backwards towards something to believe in.
God Is in the TV

It’s bold, it’s more adventurous than most bands manage in an entire career, when it’s good it’s brilliant but there are patches that are pretty crap. And yet somehow, against the odds, it works.

The Needle Drop
Singer-songwriter Will Toledo pushes bedroom pop and lo-fi rock to the next level on the new Car Seat Headrest album.

An enigma wrapped inside an self-depreciating shrug and a scribbled brain-dump; it may be white, male indie-rock, but it’s white, male indie-rock that understands itself perfectly.

FLOOD Magazine

Teens of Denial showcases most of the weapons in Toledo’s arsenal: deft wordplay, a vocal style that might be the very definition of ennui, and tight guitar-driven indie rock arrangements that recall Weezer, Beck, and Jonathan Richman.

The Line of Best Fit

His most accomplished work yet. The album is enhanced by watertight production, but its album’s biggest attraction is still Toledo’s lyrics, which are humorous and intelligent without pretentiousness. 


It’s hard not to find Teens of Denial at least a little bit exhilarating, because Toledo’s now-fully-formed voice is such a new and powerful one, and because it’s easy to see how young listeners will find an entire universe to behold within.


To anoint Toledo the voice of a generation is premature; Teens of Denial looks no further forward than the next update to Cards Against Humanity with the First World problems of album opener “Fill in the Blank”.


By and large ... the music here is undermined by a sense of redundancy.


Will Toledo is an upstanding young man who has upheld the letter of the law to the fullest extent of his abilities. He passed through his school years and through college without any evidence of criminal wrongdoings being attached to him, indeed becoming a role model and a guiltless beacon of hope to his peer group, members of whom might have otherwise been terribly misled. He has no identifying marks or scars. Will works as a writer and performer for the band Car Seat Headrest and should not ... read more
I love this album more and more with each listen. The lyrics are both depressingly hilarious and relatable, Will's knack for creating ingeniously structured indie rock is as strong as ever, and he actually has a band and a budget to back him up.
Let's be candid: Teens of Denial is an important record. Now, I don't mean it's important in the same way that Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly is politically important. No, Teens of Denial is important because it has made this reviewer potently aware of how badly rock music needs Will Toledo. For those of you who are still unfamiliar with Car Seat Headrest, understand that Teens of Denial is a particularly unusual "debut" album given that it is both the Seattle-based band's ... read more
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Track List

  1. Fill in the Blank
  2. Vincent
  3. Destroyed by Hippie Powers
  4. (Joe Gets Kicked out of School for Using) Drugs with Friends [But Says This Isn't a Problem]
  5. Just What I Needed / Not Just What I Needed
  6. Drunk Drivers / Killer Whales
  7. 1937 State Park
  8. Unforgiving Girl (She's Not An)
  9. Cosmic Hero
  10. The Ballad of the Costa Concordia
  11. Connect the Dots (The Saga of Frank Sinatra)
  12. Joe Goes to School
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Added on: March 24, 2016